Thanks to the recent uptick in cyber attacks and social media trolls, Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate.
Here are some tips to get you ready.
Use your real name The best way to protect yourself is to use your real identity online.
If you don’t have one, don’t use a fake one.
The Federal Trade Commission says if you do it online, you may be charged a hefty $1,000 per day for a fraudulent identity.
Use a trusted third party to help you make your purchases The best option for protecting your online identity is to do business with a trusted party.
You can use an account manager, a credit card company or a third party.
If your bank doesn’t have a secure password, a service like Mastercard or Visa can create one.
Use encrypted messaging apps You can also use encrypted messaging services like WhatsApp or Signal to protect your messages from snooping trolls.
Buy Christmas gifts with cash to protect the gift’s value Buy gifts with your own money instead of giving it to a stranger.
You could buy a nice gift from a stranger who wants a good one, or you could get a nice one from someone who wants to get rid of the bad ones.
Do your homework on your options If you plan to go to a party, consider using a trusted friend or relative.
They can help you plan and organize the event, while you can make your own arrangements.
Consider using a holiday card instead of cash or a gift card to make your holiday purchases and keep your credit score low.
Get a gift from someone you trust to avoid paying the gift tax You can avoid the gift taxes by getting a gift or by getting it from a relative.
Know your online security settings and protect your privacy.
Privacy is important when you go online, especially for your financial privacy.
Use the same password on both your credit card and social networking accounts.
Be aware of the dangers of the cyberattacks that are being carried out.
Do some homework before you go to the mall or to a restaurant.
It’s a great time to check online reviews of places.
Use smart passwords for your online accounts, as well as your social media accounts.
Look for the Christmas cards.
These are designed to look like Christmas presents and have special messages for the holiday.
Don’t use your phone to send a message.
If possible, avoid using your phone while driving and using other electronic devices such as your computer.
Avoid social media in the meantime.
Do not post or share personal information on social media, including photos and videos.
Don the “Santa Claus” hat.
If there are a lot of trolls online, get rid to their message.
Make sure you check your email frequently and use a security app such as Notepad to keep your messages private.
Don your favorite hat and get ready for the holidays.