It’s not just your home security that’s at risk over the holiday, when residential crime tends to spike: it’s also your cyber security, in the form of identity theft, phony charities, and other pitfalls of our full immersion in the Internet. And then, there is also the real risk of social media “TMI,” as we share our holiday plans (trips, parties, etc.) in ways that draw the eager attention of potential intruders. From CBS New York comes this list of timely tips on how to make your holidays just that much brighter.
‘Tis the season for sharing, but when it comes to social networking, some people may share too much about their whereabouts and the gifts they’ll give. CBS 2’s Dave Carlin has a status update on social media safety for the Christmas and gift-giving season.
The Primary Suspects
Facebook and Twitter are increasingly becoming a standard part of our everyday lives, but Internet safety experts say some people put too much information in cyberspace. Long Island resident Howard Bernstein, for example, told Carlin he checks Facebook more often this time of year, happy to see festive photos and what his friends are up to. “Cyber-savvy criminals are very savvy during Christmastime, and they’re looking for things like that,” said Hemanshu Nigam, Internet security expert. “Instead of casing the neighborhood, they’re casing the online neighborhood.”
The main point: just like you lock the doors to your home, secure your social networking profiles. Not everyone on your list of friends needs to know you’re going out of town – and that your home will be empty for days.
On-line Shopping Can be Risky
If you’re searching for online deals on sites like Twitter and Facebook, be wary of clicking on links. Even if forwarded by a friend, take a second look. It could appear to be the deal of the season, but scammers can create pages that look just like the real thing – and you won’t get what you bargained for. “The next thing you know, you have a virus in your computer,” said expert Nigam. “And that bad guy owns your computer, and that’s not what you need during the holiday season, when you should be enjoying Christmas and the holidays, and the New Year coming.”
Give the Safe Way
Another tip: If you plan to give to charities this holiday season, beware of anyone who asks for money on social media sites. Most reputable charities do not solicit donations online or over the phone.
FrontPoint cares about your physical safety and your virtual security – it all adds up to peace of mind. After all, protecting homes and families is our highest priority. We’ll keep on sharing great tips when we find them: it’s our goal to be your resource for crime statistics, burglar behaviors, and the latest technologies to thwart intruders. After all, FrontPoint is the only alarm company in the country to use safer cellular monitoring on every system we sell – and charge less for it. But what people really know us for is our smarter Interactive level of monitoring. Make sure your home is protected: by FrontPoint, the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US.