Five ways to keep your new Christmas technology cyber secure

Here are five cheap and easy ways to make sure hackers don’t play the Grinch this Holiday season.
Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 2:06 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Laptops, phones, & smart TVs are all hot items during the holidays, meaning more and more of our devices are connected. The more devices you have, the higher the chances of your information getting into the wrong hands. So how do you stay cyber safe?

Bridgitte Mase with Boston Government Solutions in Oak Ridge spoke to WVLT News about easy things to do to ensure your information is secure.

Around the holidays, Bridgitte says phishing scams become more and more common. Phishing is when hackers target your information through emails and online ads.

“We’ve seen a lot of ransomware this year in particular, and that seems to be increasing quite a bit.” Says Mase, who serves as the Vice President of Cyber & Technology Solutions at Boston Government Solutions.

Bridgitte gave us five ways to easily protect your information without breaking the bank.

1. Use Multi-factor authentication.

Multi-factor authentication is when you must use two or more pieces of evidence to verify your identity. “It’s pretty much offered everywhere,” Mase said. “So you could set up multi-factor authentication for any account that you’re using.”

2. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts.

“A lot of people use the very same password for absolutely every account,” Mase said. “If you get hacked one place, then suddenly they know what you’re doing everywhere else, and then that compromises all of your data.

Mase also suggests using a password manager program that makes it easier not to forget all of your different passwords.

3. Check your privacy settings.

4. Keep your software up to date.

This is one of the most important steps, according to Mase. She said in most cases, people have the correct anti-virus software but fail to update it frequently, which gives hackers easy access when introducing new scams and bugs.

5. Scan your computer at least once a day.

While you may scan your computer every once in a while to check for a virus, Mase said it’s crucial to do it daily.

“Make sure your virus scanning software is scanning every time that you that you log in, at least once a day,” Mase stated.

But what about the actual software you need to help keep these cyberattacks at bay? Mase said Windows users could benefit from Windows Defender, the free software pre-installed on new Microsoft Windows computers and devices.

“If you want to add an additional product on top of that, products like Malwarebytes work really well with other products that may already be running on your machine,” said Mase. “So if you want to run defender and Malwarebytes together, then you’ve got double protection, and you’re you’re not going to cause problems with the two not working together.”

Mase warns the public to research any anti-virus software add-on. Some software is not compatible with programs like Windows Defender and can even do more harm than good if not used correctly.

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.