8 Tips to Keep Employees Safe Online During the Holidays

safe-online-browsing.jpgIt’s the holidays which means primetime for cybercrime where exploiting the bad habits of users leads to a Merry Christmas indeed for these cyber scrooges. Hey, it’s easier than donning a Santa costume and shimmying down your chimney.

During the holidays, more than other times of the year, a growing number of users make and plan their shopping online. Most employees treat their company devices as their personal devices and as such bring to work malicious applications (Malware) they caught online. That makes this an important time of year to educate your users against these attacks.

Last week we covered 6 frightful holiday scams that can trick users into infecting their various computing devices (or should we say, your company’s devices?).

There are several things you can do to protect your company. You’re not completely at the mercy of Jack Frost and his cohorts of malicious holiday hackers.

To protect your company’s network from these issues, share these 8 tips with employees to help you increase their level of security, especially during holiday shopping.


  1. Handle your passwords with care. Never share passwords and always store them securely. Passwords should be difficult and absent of easy to guess words. Don’t make them easy to reset by adopting strong secret codes or reminders.
  2. 5 golden email addresses. All the shopping sites you use should use a few different emails. That way, if one is compromised or a breach occurs on one of your online retailer’s sites, it limits the likelihood of having all your accounts accessed.
  3. You better watch out, you better verify e-commerce sites. Always use official apps and websites when you’re shopping online. Make sure these sites are reputable and avoid the shady sites with prices that are too good to be true.
  4. Shopping in a winter Wi-Fi hotspot. Conduct online shopping on secured networks. Even if you are on your home network, make sure your Wi-Fi is properly protected.
  5. Have a holly, jolly click-mas. If you don’t recognize the email or link, don’t click. Even if it seems legitimate, sometimes it’s better to contact the company or manually type in the URL and avoid malware.
  6. Rockin’ around the email tree. During the holidays, you’ll get unsolicited mails that propose special deals. Never open unknown files or download items from unknown sources. They are often phishing scams.
  7. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed URL. Be vigilant about the URL you use. Variations in spelling or a different domain (for example, the malicious site may use .net instead of .com) could deceive you into visiting a copy of legitimate websites managed by criminals.
  8. Have yourself a merry little Acceptable Use policy. While it’s not a foolproof method for protecting your networks from the holiday mishaps, having an Acceptable Use policy spells out to users what is okay and what isn’t. This just might be the time to remind everyone.

Attackers can defraud and monetize their actions with little effort. By educating your employees, you can help make sure that they – and your company – don’t fall prey to these holiday Scrooges.

How is your company managing online threats? Contact BlackPoint IT Services today at 866.575.9512 or let us know and we'll call you.