The time from November to January is the busiest but most wonderful time of the year and every year more and more individuals are falling victim to online fraud and identity theft. From Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to Christmas and New Year’s, those few months are dedicated to traveling, decorating, shopping, and celebrating life with your friends and family. Whether you’re traveling to go see your loved ones, or staying local, let’s celebrate the holidays with 5 ways you can keep your data safe and secure!
Password Protect Your Phone. Busy holiday shopping for your family and friends, with your jacket and a warm coffee in one hand and browsing through clothing racks with the other… you accidentally put your phone down and forget about it! In the event this happens, and you misplace your mobile device, it’s good to make sure your phone is password protected so that whoever picks it up can’t access your text messages or emails. Phones these days give you the option to create a simple 4-digit pin, a longer 6-digit pin, or even an alphabetical password just to increase protection levels. It may take a second longer to type but take advantage of it because it’ll be well worth not having to deal with being hacked.
Track Your Phone. Similar to the previous tip, if you’re traveling or have simply misplaced your phone, don’t freak out too much (until you have to) because smartphones, apple products specifically, come with the Find My iPhone and Find My Friends apps that gives you access to your phone’s location by signing in on another device like your laptop or a friend’s phone. You can even ping, lock, and/or wipe your phone if you believe it is in the possession of someone who is up to no good.
Back Up Your Data Periodically. I’m sure no one thinks about backing up their smartphone on a daily basis, so it has probably been a while since you last backed up your smartphone, right? Well the holiday season is the best time to do that! Whether you’re traveling or snuggled up in a blanket with hot cocoa on your relaxing day (or two) off work, just do a quick back up to your computer or to iCloud so that you know for a fact that if anything were to happen to your device, you have a backup!
Be wary of e-gifts and discount spam emails! In the midst of all the holidays, I guarantee your inbox is filling up with all the “12 days of Christmas sales!”, “Holiday offer! Up to 70% off”, or “End of year sale is ENDING! Last day to receive 30% off!” emails. Those are reasonable, but if you see any that sound too good to be true for example, “free pair of Ray Bans, only pay for shipping!” Be cautious when opening and clicking on those deals. Make sure you’re receiving it from the official company before you click on any attachments because often times, if you see one that’s too good to be true, it typically is.
Out with the old (data), in with new (electronics). With all the active holiday deals, everyone knows it’s prime time for some new electronics! If you’ve received the new shiny iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad or flat screen tv, make sure to say thank you first… but then make sure you clear your data from your old device! You may not know how or what to do… and this calls for our data erasure services with Guardian Data Destruction.
The stresses of online shopping and gift giving are at an all-time high right now, but if you follow these tips you will most definitely have a peaceful holiday rather than a frantic and stressful one trying to gain your identity back.
Have a safe and happy holiday season and don’t forget to get your gift of identity protection by calling us TODAY!