It’s the most wonderful dangerous time of the year

Expert editorial Following the Christmas Fraud Awareness Campaign that Kaspersky Lab has worked on jointly with Barclays and Get Safe Online, David Emm has taken to his regular...

Expert editorial

Following the Christmas Fraud Awareness Campaign that Kaspersky Lab has worked on jointly with Barclays and Get Safe Online, David Emm has taken to his regular Huffington Post blog to remind people how to avoid the cyber-criminals this Christmas.

It’s the most wonderful dangerous time of the year

The moment we connect to the Internet we become a potential target for cyber-criminals. Just as an unprotected home offers easy pickings for burglars, so an unprotected computer, tablet or smartphone is an open invitation to cybercriminals.

We’re particularly vulnerable at Christmas. Many of us now routinely shop online, because it’s quick and convenient. But at Christmas the volume of online transactions goes through the roof. Last year, on ‘Cyber Monday’ alone (the busiest day for online retail shopping) there were 112 million visits to retail web site.

So when we log on to purchase gifts, we are vulnerable to a number of cyber-threats. Malicious programs or malware may record the keys we press, take a picture of our screen when we visit a banking website or download additional malware to our computer. But they all have one thing in common: they give cybercriminals access to our digital lives.

Cybercriminals get their information from everywhere; they trawl social networks, public forums and web sites for personal data that they can use to profile us. Their strategy of ‘steal everything’ means that any seemingly innocuous snippet of information that we post could be useful to them.

Don’t let cybercriminals spoil your Christmas, follow these simple guidelines and stay safe online:

  1. Install Internet security software and keep it updated.
  2. Keep Windows and other applications up-to-date.
  3. Don’t respond to email messages if you don’t know the sender.
  4. Don’t click on email attachments if you don’t know the sender.
  5. Don’t click on links in email or IM (instant messaging) messages. Type the address directly   into your web browser.
  6. Don’t give out personal information in response to an email, even if the email looks official.
  7. Be cautious about what you share in social networks – if you wouldn’t write it in a letter to the local newspaper, don’t post it online.
  8. Only shop, bank or socialise on secure sites. Make sure the URL starts with ‘https://’ and check for the padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser.
  9. Use a unique, complex password for each web site or service you use. Don’t recycle them (e.g. ‘jackie1’, ‘jackie2’). Don’t make them easy to guess (e.g. mum’s name, pet’s name). Don’t tell anyone your passwords.
  10. Backup your data regularly to a CD, DVD, or external USB drive.

As a result of this campaign, further print, online and broadcast coverage has been secured. You can read some of the top articles in The Telegraph, Yahoo and The Sunday Times.

V3 readers vote for Kaspersky 

Kaspersky Lab has also hit the top spot at the V3 Technology Awards 2013, winning two highly sought after awards: Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business was named as the ‘Best Enterprise Security Product’ and Costin Raiu was named ‘Technology Hero of the Year’.

“Our malware discoveries and research are all dedicated to making the online world a safer place, so it’s great to see V3 readers recognising the Kaspersky Lab team’s hard work. We have had a very successful year, and look forward to continuing these great achievements. We will not stop until cyber space is a safer place for consumers and businesses alike and our second-to-none research will certainly continue to help us in this quest,” explains Kirill Slavin.

The annual V3 Awards gives its readers the opportunity to vote for the technology companies – and their products, projects and people – they believe have been most successful over the past 12 months.

For more on Kaspersky Lab please visit here

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