Jingle All the Way to Online Safety: A Digital Guide to a Secure Christmas

19 December 2023

Gather ’round, digital elves, as we embark on a sleigh ride through the magical wonderland of the internet during this jolly season! With online shopping, festive greetings, and digital decorations at their peak, it’s time to don your virtual Santa hat and ensure your sleigh (or laptop) is protected from the grinches of the cyber world. Let’s unwrap some merry tips and facts to keep your digital festivities secure and joyful!

  1. Sleigh-ing it with Strong Passwords

Your first line of defence against digital grinches is a password as uncrackable as the North Pole’s secret cookie recipe. Mix uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and sprinkle in some special characters for good measure. Reindeer names and birth years don’t cut it – be more unique  than a snowflake in a blizzard! We recommend you pick three random words – ‘ChristmasSunnyPotato’ would take a computer 16 quadrillion years to crack. Don’t use that one though!

  1. Don’t Be a Scrooge: Keep Your Software Updated

Just like Santa’s elves working tirelessly to make toys, software developers are constantly fixing bugs and improving security. Keep your devices and applications up-to-date to benefit from the latest patches and defences against cyber grinches trying to spoil the festive fun.

  1. Naughty or Nice? Check Website Security

Before you start loading up your virtual shopping cart with presents, check if the website is on the nice list. Look for “https://” in the URL, a padlock symbol, and a trust seal. These indicate that your information is being transmitted securely, ensuring your digital sleigh ride is smooth and safe.

  1. Elves or Impostors? Be Wary of Phishing Attempts

Beware of emails pretending to be from your favourite online stores or Santa himself. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and never share personal information in response to unsolicited emails. Santa doesn’t ask for your credit card details via email, and neither should anyone else!

  1. The Spirit of Giving, but Not Your Data: Be Privacy Savvy

When creating an account or making a purchase, only share the necessary information. The fewer crumbs you leave for cyber grinches, the merrier your online experience will be. Check privacy settings on social media too, because Santa knows when you’ve been oversharing.

  1. ‘Tis the Season for Two-Factor Authentication

Add an extra layer of protection to your accounts with two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s like putting tinsel on your digital tree – an extra layer of sparkle that makes things more secure. Whether it’s a text message code or an authentication app, 2FA can keep the digital grinches at bay.

  1. Bells Are Ringing, and So Are Your Notifications: Stay Alert

Keep an eye out for any unusual activity on your accounts. If you receive unexpected notifications or see strange transactions, act faster than Rudolph on Christmas Eve. Report suspicious activity to your bank or the platform you’re using and change your passwords immediately.

  1. WiFi Wonderland: Secure Your Connection

While visions of sugar plums dance in your head, cyber grinches might be dancing on your unsecured WiFi network. Secure it faster than Santa down a chimney! Change your default router password to something more robust, and embrace the magic of WPA3 encryption. It’s like a force field for your digital gingerbread house.

  1. Santa’s Little Helpers: Use Reputable Apps

When downloading apps for your festive needs, stick to trusted app stores. Read reviews, check permissions, and make sure the app comes from a reputable developer. Santa doesn’t trust just anyone to help deliver presents, and you shouldn’t trust just any app with your data.

  1. Jingle All the Way to Secure Payments

It’s time to whip out those digital wallets and spread the holiday joy. Use secure payment methods like credit cards or reputable payment platforms. Avoid sharing your financial details through email or unfamiliar websites. Santa prefers his cookies delivered securely, and so should your payments.

With these merry tips, you’re ready to navigate the digital wonderland safely, keeping the grinches at bay and ensuring your festive season is filled with joy, laughter, and cyber delights. May your digital sleigh ride be smooth, your online shopping spree be secure, and your holidays be filled with the magic of a cyber-safe Christmas!

Digital Confidence Denbighshire offers a range of drop-in sessions, workshops, and essential skills courses to help people in Denbighshire learn how to use digital to help them access the services they need in their day to day lives. Recent delivery has included sessions on online safety, shopping safely online, history and reminiscence, job-seeking, online health and wellbeing resources, basic tablet and computer familiarisation and social media awareness.

We work with social housing, the local authority, libraries, the third sector and any groups that have a digital inclusion need. We deliver training at community venues and can set up bespoke courses to meet your digital inclusion needs.

For more information or to get involved, feel free to get in touch. dcdenbighsire@cwmpas.coop

Digital Confidence Denbighshire is funded by the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund.

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