Be a Beauceron this Cyber Monday

From all the Beauceron family, Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends. Eager beavers everywhere are excited for the wonderful deals that will be available online from Black Friday through Cyber Monday.

BE A BEAUCERON

With malicious apps and data breaches on the rise – we came up with a few tips to empower you to be a Beauceron this holiday season.

Being a Beauceron means adapting a security mindset with regards to everything you do. It’s about being an active defender against cyber criminals. One of the best ways to be safe online is by slowing down and taking a second to stop and check what you’re doing online before clicking on a link.

BEWARE OF APPS

According to InfoSec Magazine, security experts have found over 32,000 malicious 'Black Friday' themed apps spoofing the branding of online retailers. They were even found in official marketplaces like Google Play and the Apple App Store.

What does that mean for consumers? If you’re not sure about an app, try checking it in on Zscaler Application Profiler http://zap.zscaler.com/ . The application examines these four key areas:

  • Authentication - Does the app send usernames and passwords over the web in plain text, or are passwords stored on the device using weak encryption?
  • Device Metadata Leakage - Does the app leak data that can identify a particular device?
  • Personally Identifiable Information Leakage - Does the app send data such as email addresses, phone numbers or addresses to a third-party?
  • Exposed content - Does the app track the user?

WATCH OUT FOR PHISHES

We expect shipping and online shopping phishes will be on the rise over the holidays. Slow down and ask yourself some questions.

  • Is it encouraging you to take immediate action and addressing you as ‘Dear Customer’?

  •  Hover over the link in the e-mail, is it taking you to the URL you’d expect? You can check it out on Virus Total https://www.virustotal.com/#/home/url  to make sure it’s not associated with any known and reported forms of malware.
  • Is this the way your provider would usually contact you? If you are concerned about re-scheduling a package delivery, call your shipping provider or log into their legitimate website.

'ONLINE ONLY' CREDIT CARD

Many online services are breached every day and take weeks, months or even worse years to tell consumers their data has been compromised. An easy way to reduce your online risk is to have a specific low limit credit card that you only use for online shopping. By not connecting it to any recurring payments it’ll be easier to cancel in the event it’s compromised.

USE GIFT CARDS

To significantly reduce your online risk this holiday season, purchase gift cards in store to use online. If you really want to reduce your risk, leverage Apple Pay for point of sale terminals. Instead of giving your credit card information to the terminal (which is susceptible to malware) Apple Pay exchanges a single-use token keeping your personal information even safer.

Image courtesy Thomas8047/ Flickr. Used under Creative Commons License.