Christmas or is it Riskmas

...when shopping online this year?

Here is a small piece about Online shopping this year. 

About me: I worked in IT, for a few years, in my Authority – Application Support and Business Intelligence. I now have a healthy interest in Information Security and Privacy, in my spare time, I attend events around the UK and Ireland, as a hobby.

Information Security expert Chad Calease, Founder and Consultant at WIMZKL stated, last month that he expects a 600-700% increase in Malware (short for malicious software), this Christmas, compared to last Christmas.

Some Tips:

1.       Keep antivirus up to date.  I use Sophos at home, at work its Symantec, just make sure you don’t install Malware instead of Antivirus!

2.       Stop installing apps, browser extensions or services unless they are purchased from a reputable provider, e.g. Microsoft, Apple Mac Store, Google apps etc.

3.       Purchase goods and services only from online companies you know and trust.  The bad guys are getting better, be careful, research before buying from a new service or seller

4.       Shopping online, every Christmas, is reported as the biggest yet. 2017 will be the same.  So when shopping online, make sure the URL begins with https:// before paying for goods, check for the padlock icon on the toolbar. 

5.       Passwords, should be strong, we all know this in work, but at home?  Here is a good idea for a passphrase.  Think of a sentence, say you are a massive but deluded(!) Liverpool fan. 
A good passphrase would be “Liverpool football club might win the premiership league title this year 2017”
Taking the first letters from each word makes a password Lfcmwtpltty2 

Another Password needed, use the last letter of each word llbtnepeesr7

What about a third Password? Reverse the first password and so on.

To make it even more secure put ! at the end or start of the password.
This means all you have to remember is a passphrase.
Passwords that use your son or daughter’s first name plus 123 are easy to guess as is liverpool123

6.       If two factor authentication is available, use it.

7.       Don’t click on email messages from unknown senders, just delete them (at home, not at work!)  Obviously be careful what attachments you open, even from someone you know. (at work and home)

8.       Finally don’t disclose personal or sensitive information online without verifying why it is needed.

I hope you find this useful!

Steven
Chair APP User Group UK & Ireland