Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated on alternate dates in different parts of the world. American Thanksgiving, the third Thursday of November, is an incredibly busy time of the year as family members unite across the country and beyond. Bracing for a hectic travel period, the Tuesday and Wednesday before are historically the most active. The expectation is that 54 million people will be in transit.
People are super excited about Thanksgiving, especially hackers! Scammers worldwide look for ways to disrupt essential networks and systems of individuals, businesses, and organizations. With employees on vacation and skeleton staffing, it is an ideal opportunity to stage a breach. US cyber authorities are urging individuals and companies, especially critical infrastructure operators, to tighten their defenses.
To protect devices and data wherever you are: Travel Smart. Think Smart. Act Smart. Stay Smart.
Ready to hit the road? Driving in convoy? Google maps or Apple maps display and share real-time traffic, construction, and speed traps. Check out Google Gas Guru or Apple Gas Guru for the cheapest options to keep you moving.
Entertainment apps like Spotify or Audible will certainly maintain passenger interest, whether in a vehicle, ship, train, or plane. Travel smart and ensure you are fully charged, downloaded, and listening-ready.
Keep smartphones in front pockets, and avoid bumping into people in overcrowded situations. Install security software and utilize apps like Android Device Manager or Find My iPhone.
Choose strong passwords and two-factor authentication for each device. Cybersecurity experts believe good practices always pay off, particularly with a population on the move. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has tips for strong passwords.
Think smart and back up communication using iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive, so you don't lose treasured data if devices are stolen or infected with malware.
Best to think twice before sharing. Criminals monitor social media profiles to see where you are and how long you will be away. When posting vacation photos, turn off geotagging to ensure exact locations are unknown.
American officials are apprehensive about hackers spreading ransomware. This malicious act encrypts entire computer systems, which can cripple networks. Avoid online banking or use your institution's official mobile platform. Their apps will take you directly to secure sites where you can manage finances safely.
VPNs, or virtual private networks, prevent corporations and cybercriminals from accessing personal information. Act smart while you are away to avoid the theft of confidential data and personal information.
It's hard to ignore a seasonal bargain, so if staff shop online for Thanksgiving deals at work, they put their company's computer networks at risk of cyber-attack. Infosecurity Magazine notes it will be a thankless time for victims as these cyber thieves pull off an estimated 50 million global fraud attempts, including credit card, bank account, or identity theft.
In clever phishing schemes, hackers strive to get their hands on personal information, especially payment details and passwords. E-skimming hones in on the e-commerce capabilities of a website. Stay smart and watch out for poorly written emails, text messages, and images that need to be corrected. Chances are they link to any number of fraudulent sites.
Travel Smart. Think Smart. Act Smart. Stay Smart. Turn Hacksgiving into Thanksgiving.
Happy Holidays from OBCIDO.