TIP OF THE WEEK

Holiday crime used to mean break-ins and thieves swiping packages from your doorstep. But now there’s an increasing number of cybersecurity threats specifically looking to capitalize on the holiday season. With many people getting new devices, using unfamiliar networks and doing lots of online shopping, bad actors have plenty of targets to choose from. By following these simple steps for data protection, you can keep your digital information secure this holiday season.

Be careful when using insecure Wi-Fi networks. If you’re traveling or out shopping during the holidays, you may find yourself on an unfamiliar Wi-Fi network. Many stores, airports and rest stops offer free Wi-Fi as a convenience, but often those networks aren’t secured. That makes it especially risky to make online purchases because the traffic from your device can be easily monitored and stolen. If you are using public Wi-Fi networks, then browsing to any website, make sure your connection is encrypted and secure by looking for the lock icon in the top left of the address bar.

Don’t rely on passwords alone. Passwords and user IDs are a staple of cybersecurity, but they can only get you so far. To further ensure your data stays protected, consider using password management and verification apps. They let you use your face, fingerprint, eyes or other methods to access your data across devices.

Avoid phishing scams. With so many companies emailing holiday promotions, it can feel like your inbox is under assault. In fact, it very well could be. Some of those emails may be phishing scams designed to steal your private information. To protect your data, don’t click on any unfamiliar links and carefully review all notifications from your bank to catch any potentially fraudulent activity.

Back up your data. If all your data is stored in one place, it’s vulnerable. Bad actors can lock up your device and demand payment to release your files. That’s why backing your data up to the cloud is critical for protecting your files against ransomware attacks. The cloud allows you to safeguard your data and access it from multiple devices.

Utilize privacy screens. Preventing people from looking over your shoulder and stealing your information is the simplest and easiest way to protect your personal data. When online shopping in public, use privacy screens to hide your information.

- Brandpoint

THE LIST

According to Forbes, the top-10 world’s most powerful women for 2018 are:

1. Angela Merkel (Chancellor, Germany)

2. Theresa May (Prime Minister, United Kingdom)

3. Christine Lagarde (Managing director, International Monetary Fund, France)

4. Mary Barra (CEO, General Motors, U.S.)

5. Abigail Johnson (CEO, Fidelity Investments, U.S.)

6. Melinda Gates (Co-chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S.)

7. Susan Wojcicki (CEO, YouTube, U.S.)

8. Ana Botin (Chair, Banco Santander, Spain)

9. Marillyn Hewson (CEO, Lockheed Martin, U.S.)

10. Ginni Rometty (CEO, IBM, U.S.)

NUMBER TO KNOW

100 million: Quora.com, a question-and-answer website, recently announced a variety of potentially sensitive personal data for about 100 million users was accessed after a breach of its computer network.

TECH TALK

Phone companies to rollout 5G devices, networks

AT&T and Verizon recently announced they will launch their first 5G capable phones in the first half of 2019, while T-Mobile and Sprint will release their own devices later in the year. The new 5G networks will offer faster speeds and better connectivity. AT&T’s coverage will consist of 19 cities, Verizon will be available in five markets, T-Mobile will launch a nationwide 5G network in 2020, and Sprint’s 5G coverage will be available in nine markets.

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