tech insider:
HOW TO STAY CYBER SAFE THIS CHRISTMAS

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WITH A LOT OF GADGETS ON OUR {& OUR KIDS} CHRISTMAS LISTS

Here’s the must-read info about the ‘Most Hackable Holiday Gifts’ and how you can stay safe and secure while enjoying the tech gifts we give and receive this year.


We all get so excited to immediately start using our new gadgets  we get for Christmas, that we don’t even think the potential security risks that make them vulnerable. Things as simple and seemingly safe as a Wi-Fi connection, Bluetooth and mobile payment apps can quickly become the weak link in your personal security, withut you even realising.

To stay alert and aware of risks, Intel Security has identified what it predicts to be 2015’s Most Hackable Holiday Gifts and has the tip and tricks on how to stay cyber safe. Here they are:

SMART WATCHES & FITNESS TRACKERS: Smartwatches and fitness trackers have become tremendously popular over the last several years and are poised to generate major market sales this holiday season. The real value of breaking into a wearable device is in its connection to a smartphone. With access to a smartphone, a hacker could potentially jump outside the wearable’s application and read emails, SMS or even install malicious software and mine the device for info like email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, etc. that they can use for identity theft.

SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS: With new models of smartphones and tablets being produced multiple times throughout the year, these devices make ideal gifts for friends and family who want the latest phone to support their on the go lifestyle. Attackers can take control of Bluetooth and with some information and trickery, they can impersonate a Bluetooth device and use that to steal information, such as read text messages or dial a toll number impersonating your smart watch, or mine the device for info to steal your identity.

DRONES AND CAMERA-ENABLED DEVICES: These days, everybody seeks to capture their every move with camera-enabled devices – and even to capture aerial views with gadgets such as drones
Cybercriminals could steal sensitive personal data from someone looking to connect to an open Wi-Fi network while a drone is flying overhead. This takes advantage of the fact that consumers are often willing to sacrifice security and privacy for the convenience of connecting to unsecured networks.

KID GADGETS: E-books, social apps and remote control cars – kids love connecting with tech, and while one would hope that children’s toys are safe in every way, there are some safety concerns that parents should be aware of, especially when these gadgets have elements that involve Internet connections. In the past we have seen examples of people hacking into baby monitors or nanny cams. Unfortunately with children’s gadgets and social apps, security is rarely thought about so it falls onto the parents to make sure their child’s latest toy isn’t broadcasting video or audio to unknown viewers!

More Christmas cyber security tips:
1. Turn Bluetooth off when not in use – and update/change the easy-to-guess default password to ensure greater safety.
2. Keep your software and operating systems up to date – make sure you are protecting your devices as soon as possible to protect against the ever-updating threats
3. Practice safe password habits – change default passwords and create unique passwords across your accounts and devices: one password should not rule them all
4. Don’t let online shopping cost you – beware of legitimate looking phishing sites that cyber criminals set up to steal your information
5. Stay safe using Wi-Fi – exercise caution when using public wireless hotspots, and only use secure networks if banking or shopping on the go.

Hope that info was helpful? Wishing you a safe/cyber-safe Merry Christmas! x

{Pic:@happliygrey}


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