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Criminals don’t take a holiday; neither does security!

“Keep your holidays happy! Make sure YOUR goods and personal information don’t become a gift to someone else!”

We love all the celebrations that are part of the holiday season -- but there are also unwanted activities that come with it. While RBC can’t help you with the cold and snow, we can give you some practical tips to help keep criminals from turning your property into theirs!

  1. Don’t get burned by a Wi-Fi hotspot!

    Be aware that public Wi-Fi is just that: public! It is not secure. To protect your privacy when using public Wi-Fi hotspots, make sure you have installed a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your device.

  2. Tired of hearing about passwords? There’s a reason we keep mentioning them.

    Passwords are as important today as ever. A strong password can help keep intruders out of your personal information and a weak password can invite prying eyes in. Strong passwords are a key part of your defense. See these important tips for creating strong passwords.

  3. Be aware that online scams always increase during this time of the year.

    Criminals behind online scams are creative and tricky. Instead of opening that tempting email to “get a free iPad”, “win a trip down south” or “claim your free gift”, open these tips to learn how to help avoid getting caught by an online scam.

  4. “Vintage” isn’t good… when talking about software.

    It is always a top priority to keep software current on all of your devices; phones, tablets, computers. Take advantage of automated updates for all of your software including your web browser and operating system.

Online scams aren’t the only criminal concern over the holidays. As today’s mobile devices are particularly tempting targets to thieves, we want to remind you of a few important tips to help minimize the risks to your devices and the information accessible from them.

NEVER leave a mobile device unattended in a public place. Thieves look for any unguarded moment, to steal you of your belongings.
Be careful when exiting a taxi: ensure you have not left any of your mobile devices behind.
Avoid leaving devices locked in cars in shopping mall parking lots, especially at this time of the year.
Keep your mobile devices with you. If it is necessary to leave a mobile device, or even a briefcase, unattended in your car for a short period of time, lock these in the trunk so they won't be visible.
Transfer mobile devices to your trunk when you get into your car, not at your destination, in case someone is watching.
Remember to use the passphrase or password lock feature on all your mobile devices to protect your information…and your friends' information too!

To help stay safe online during the holiday season, be careful which websites you access (see article Cyber Criminals). Use caution in your online activity and when in doubt, take the time to verify email requests that you receive, before you act on them.