Staying Safe This Holiday Season: Online Safety Begins Offline

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The holidays should be a happy time. Friends and families gather to give thanks and show their love and appreciation for each other.

Unfortunately, however, it’s one of the seasons when scammers are most active.

So how can you protect yourself from cyber attacks this holiday season?

Well, your online safety oftentimes starts offline, so since I’ve already discussed staying safe while online shopping, today I’ll be writing about how to protect your digital self even when you’re offline during the holidays.

For tips on staying safe while online shopping >>

For the other 12 days of Christmas cybersecurity >>

Beware of fake charities

The holidays have a way of bringing out the generosity in people, and hackers will not hesitate to take full advantage of this. Beware of fake charity websites, which can be harmful in a number of ways. They can:

  • use the CC or debit information to steal your banking information
  • steal the money you donate
  • use the website to embed malware on your computer
  • steal the personally identifying information (PII) you gave them to build a file on you until they have enough to steal your identity.

For more on PII and how to keep it safe >>

Pay in cash

Card skimmers are found everywhere (gas stations are notorious), but during the holidays shopping increases drastically, so fraudsters may install them in more places.

Use cash as often as possible to avoid your card information being picked up on a card skimming device.

For information on how card skimming works and how to identify it >>

Consider purchasing an RFID-blocking wallet

An RFID-blocking wallet will protect your credit cards from hackers passing by you on a crowded street or subway with scanners.

To be fair, there are easier and less risky ways to steal CC info, but an RFID-blocking wallet can be one of the strategies and tools you use for staying safe this holiday season and beyond.

Be liberal with the shredder

So many cards are sent during the holidays, and what do they all have in common?

An envelope that says your name and address, both very valuable PII!

And not only does it contain your personal information, but that of the sender as well. And what if it says, “love, Mom and Dad!” on the outside? Well, now anyone that gets ahold of that envelope also knows your parents’ names.

I’m not saying to shred the cards. Of course, you can keep them if you enjoy that sort of thing. I’m just suggesting that if the envelopes or cards are going to be thrown out, they should find their way to the shredder instead.

You’d be amazed at how much of our personal information we put out into the world; we don’t even think twice about it!

Do yourself a favor and protect your cyber identity this holiday season.


The holidays is one of the times of the year when hackers and criminals will be most active since they know that most members of society will be preoccupied and therefore less likely to be on the lookout for potential danger.

Not to mention the holidays tend to bring out the generosity in everyone!

Be careful not to be taken advantage of.

If you found this post helpful, please be sure to share it with your loved ones and acquaintances alike. Online security benefits us all, and will only become more critical as technology’s presence grows in our community.

Get informed. Stay safe.


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