But when consumers go online this time of year, they face the risk of running up against a range of cyber threats – threats that increase in number exponentially on a daily basis. In this year’s run-up to the holiday season, Lavasoft researchers have seen a 462 percent increase in the amount of malware detected and added to Ad-Aware’s threat database, compared to the same period last year.
Before the rush of the holidays sets in, consumers need to take the necessary steps to avoid these online hazards and be sure to shop, bank, and buy securely online. The security experts at Lavasoft have made a list – of basic "do's and don'ts" for safe computing – and you should be checking it twice to ensure peace of mind as you shop online this holiday season.
1. Do maintain your security software essentials to keep malware off of your PC. Updated anti-spyware and anti-virus protection, as well as a firewall, are the minimum you need.
2. Do uninstall unnecessary applications and services. Keeping the amount of applications and services on your system at a minimum will make you less vulnerable to an attack.
3. Do purchase only from companies you know and trust and well-established retailers. While we all want to find the best deals available online, be aware that cyber criminals will be lurking about, trying to deceive you into making a purchase. If it looks too good to be true, it just might be...
4. Do create strong passwords to keep your computer, information, and online accounts safe. Choose passwords made up of letters, numbers, and special characters.
5. Do stay alert to the latest scams. Being aware of common social engineering campaigns and other types of online scams is an effective method to counter fraud.
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