By Angel Grant, Cybersecurity Evangelist, RSA


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Like many other people this season, my kids’ holiday wish list is filled with IoT connected devices. However, after counting upwards of 40 connected devices we already own – ranging from TV, gaming consoles, thermostat, printers, security cameras, and bathroom floor (don’t ask) – it made me pause to think about how much of our personal and financial information might be leaking out.

 

During the holiday season, we all need to be on especially high alert after several mega data breaches this year. We’re all at high risk for fraud as cybercriminals are testing stolen credentials across many popular consumer websites.

 

RSA Anti-Fraud Command Center created the 2018 Cybercriminal Shopping List this year by monitoring and investigating dozens of cybercrime forums where we saw stolen information being bought and sold for prices ranging from mere cents up to $15 per account.


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Whether you’ve made a purchase online this holiday season or not, follow these five quick steps help to better protect yourself from cybercrime:

 

1. Closely monitor your accounts – Activate fraud alerts on all your financial and health-related accounts. Examples of alerts are: new payee, money withdrawal, high-value credit card transaction, insurance claim submitted, use of hospitality loyalty points or new healthcare record.

 

2. Take inventory of every device connected to the internet – Every new device you get this holiday season, start by changing the default usernames and passwords and installing security updates and turning off devices when not in use. Chances are, you use the same password for many of your accounts so it is more important than ever to change your passwords.

 

3. Resist the click – During the holiday season, we are all looking for a bargain. However, RSA’s Anti-Fraud Command Center identifies a new Phishing attack every 30 seconds and it tends to increase this time of year. When you get a text, email or see a link to a video on social media, take caution before you click.

 

4. Back it up – Many phishing attempts are now linked to ransomware, which is why it is especially important to back up data offline, so if you are a ransomware target, you will be prepared.

 

5. Beware of work at home scams – If you are looking to make extra money during the holiday season, work from home jobs are appealing. Remember, criminal gangs rely on an extensive network of people to pull off their scams. Victims are often recruited by work from home job scams that involve reshipping packages or receiving funds in their bank account. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

 

Perhaps most importantly: don’t forget to demand security from the organisations you do business with!

 

 

Ultimately, by doing this, it will allow you to stop fraud before it happens, reducing identity theft and account takeover.

 

The impact of cybercrime is staggering. Check out RSA’s dynamic infographic, “The Mind-Blowing Cost of Cybercrime Every 60 Minutes,” to see the scale of the problem. Follow us on @RSASecurity to stay up to date on the latest cybercrime trends. Have a safe and happy holiday.