The Holiday season is considered as a season for giving, however, in the age of Information when data is considered wealth, all computer users especially corporate computer users should continue practicing safe computing standards. There are things that we should not forget, we can never let our guard down.
Here are some things we should be cautious about when it comes to the Holiday Season Safe Computing:
Use a PC that is not yours.
As much as possible, never use a foreign computer. This is because of unfamiliarity on how it was set up, its security policy or the lack thereof and the over the behavior of the regular user of the machine. Using a foreign computer is like using a used syringe when undergoing a vaccination process, we can never know where did the needle used came from. During the holiday season, as we visit our friends and relatives, be very cautious of using a foreign PC, especially when entering web services you frequent like your video streaming subscription, your e-commerce account or your bank account online. If it is very important to access your bank account away from home, you can use your smartphone, bank sites use TLS encryption hence your online banking will be secure, provided your phone is free from keylogger itself. If you require accessing your files stored in your own PC, it is simple to set up a remote file sharing in your desktop PC at home which you can access via the Internet using your mobile phone or tablet.
Use of fly-by-night e-greeting cards.
In this day and age, receiving a real-life printed greeting card is very rare. Only a few old school people send those for a loved one, most people choose to send e-greeting cards as provided by 3rd parties on your behalf. Sending e-greeting cards is not dangerous at first glance, however not all service providers of e-greeting cards can be trusted. Some fly-by-night greeting card web service is not really there to supply people with a mundane digital greeting card, but trojan horse programs for your recipients. These types of e-greeting cards use clever tricks to pretend as an authentic e-greeting card, but the moment your recipient opens it in their computer or mobile device, it will unleash its true goal as a trojan malware instead. When it comes to e-greeting cards, stick with the known brands and services. Those that already have the track record for years when it comes to respecting user privacy and security.
Free Wifi is not actually free.
Being on a holiday mostly means being away from home, and a quick check on available Wifi may surprise people that passwordless wifi routers are on. Please never trust random open wifi network, as this action is a pure submission on the part of the potential victim. Open wifi is not safe, as it is trivial for the owner of that open wifi to redirect a non-secure webpage to a secure version of the site. This is usually done through a man-in-the-middle attack, which is highly dangerous when it comes to the use of the keyboard or any pointing device. Free wifi is like entering an alien world, where users cease all control of network communications, information travelling via radio waves can be picked up by strangers as long as they have the know-how and the equipment to do so. Security professionals for decades have warned us about the dangers of entering an unknown wifi, just because it is open does not guarantee its safe to use.
Holidays do not mean relaxed IT corporate policy.
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