Information Security

This Season of Giving, Give Yourself the Gift of Information Security

Turkey, pumpkin pie, and candy canes aren’t the only things that are part of many Americans’ holiday traditions. Shopping for gifts online has also become a part of the holiday season, and each year more people look online to find the best deals and bargain prices.

The holiday season is one of the biggest online shopping periods of the year, which unfortunately provides hackers and scammers with ample opportunities to prey on unsuspecting shoppers. Hackers attempt to lure shoppers to malicious websites or phishing sites with the goal of collecting personal and financial information.

Consider these tips from CyberSafe at USPS™ to help protect your personal information online throughout the holiday season:

n Only buy from known websites and pay attention to URLs — URLs with spelling mistakes may indicate a phony website.

n Be suspicious of deals that sound too good to be true — beware of opening email attachments and hyperlinks in email messages advertising extremely low prices.

n Keep a record of your online orders. Retain all documentation from the order in the event that your purchase does not arrive and your credit card is charged.

n Check your bank statements. If there is an unknown charge reported on your statement, report it to your bank immediately.

From tablets and smartphones to eReaders, this year’s holiday wish lists are more connected to the Internet than ever. While the newest tech gadgets make great gifts, they also present an opportunity for hackers to steal personal information.

Take these steps to secure your new devices:

n Lock your device when you are not using it.

n Disconnect your device from the Internet or Wi-Fi when you aren’t using it.

n Keep your software updated, so that attackers can’t take advantage of computer viruses or vulnerabilities.

The holidays are a wonderful time to connect with family and friends. This holiday season, be sure to connect to your devices safely and securely.

The CyberSafe at USPS website ( includes additional tips to spot online scams and keep your devices protected.