It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Riskmas

This is a list worth checking twice this year: baseline DOs to get the most magic out of the season.

It’s important we’re all aware of our increased risk of experiencing not-so-festive stuff. Historically, year-over-year, there’s been a 900-1000% increase in the amount of crime during the holiday season. As online activity spins up, criminals cast wide nets to catch as many of us as possible in a broad spectrum of identity theft and fraud.

Because of COVID, this trend started earlier this year, a heightened and steadily-ascending level of criminal activity is up across the board, shattering previous records.

DO trust but verify. Don’t believe everyone is who they say they are, especially if it’s urgent. It’s a-okay to call someone back at a verified number and/or not answer the door every time someone knocks. As my friend and colleague, Rachel Tobac, likes to say, “Be politely paranoid.”

DO use 2-Factor-Authentication on all your email, bank, and other online accounts. It can prevent >90% of identity-related crimes! Turn it on for your primary GMail account, for example! –> https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/185839

DO be sure to keep your devices’ software up-to-date (especially your new Smart TV – here’s a handy guide for that), any other “smart” devices you might own, antivirus/anti-malware, and your apps up-to-date to keep clear of crime.

DO uninstall stuff you don’t use. Keep the apps and services on your devices to a minimum and you’re less vulnerable.

DO purchase goods and services only from sellers you know and trust. If it looks too good to be true, it is.

DO give yourself (and maybe others) the gift of a password manager to help you stay safe all year long and save a TON of TIME, too.

The awesome gif used in this post is by Brandon Do.