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Make a cybersecurity list and check it twice this holiday season

By Elliot Anderson  |  February 9, 2023

As the holidays swiftly approach, many of us are making lists and plans as part of the crescendo of year-end activity. We don’t want to forget anything important, but is ensuring safety from cybercrime at the top of your list?

We know that criminals don’t take time off for the holidays, if anything, they are more active.

Use the chart below to plan out your holiday checklist and steer clear of cybercrime. Jump to the section that interests you the most.

Shopper To-Do List Merchant To-Do List
Enjoy a bargain-filled, hacker-free holiday season. Enjoy a profitable and hacker-free holiday season.
Update software on all devices and phones Update software and patches on all networks
Check anti-virus program; make sure nothing bad is already there Check anti-virus and firewalls; make sure everything is properly configured and up-to-date
Change all passwords and logins; use two-step authentication Make sure all logins and user access are up-to-date, remove past employees, add new employees, and verify access levels per position; use two-factor authentication
Check your favorite online shopping sites; make sure accounts and billing addresses are updated Check your PCI compliance status including your SAQ and vulnerability scans
Use your best judgment when clicking on email and social media ads (it’s better to go directly to the website and avoid the hyperlinks) Remind employees about phishing and online scams; advise to not shop online via the company network and not use external USB drives
Always check for the security certificate info in your browser and secure connection URLs when shopping online Be vigilant with File Integrity Monitoring; run and check daily reports
Try to avoid using debit cards for online shopping or in stores Ensure your Point-to-Point Encryption service is working properly; verify no card data is being stored on site
Don’t shop or bank on public Wi-Fi Secure public and corporate Wi-Fi
Be mindful of QR codes because some may contain malware Make sure credit card processing terminals haven’t been reconfigured to circumvent the firewall
Don’t give more information than is needed (social security numbers, birthdates, etc.) Double check that 4G Failover is working in case of internet interruption
Don’t click on suspicious pop-up windows Make sure corporate, employee, and account data are stored on different servers to avoid ransomware potential
Monitor all accounts throughout the season (check for any unusual purchases or amounts) Monitor all endpoints for unusual activity with advanced threat protection

Hackers never take time off for the holidays. They are always shopping for new information, data, card numbers, and anything else they can find on unprotected systems.

This is why it’s so important for shoppers and merchants to make a cybersecurity list and check it twice this holiday season.

To learn more, download our Practical Guide to Merchant Cybersecurity whitepaper and take less than a minute to fill out this form for a free cybersecurity consultation.

By Elliot Anderson
Make a cybersecurity list and check it twice this holiday season

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