The perfect way to ensure festive protection for all your devices

Christmas laptop
(Image credit: / Nastya.ivs)

With the end of 2020 in sight, it’s now time to be looking forward to the Christmas break after what has been an incredibly difficult, and different year.

However cybercriminals don't often follow in the season of goodwill, and many extend their Grinch-like state to carry out attacks and scams over the holidays.

So to make sure you stay protected this Christmas, here's some top tips to make sure you stay in the festive spirit.

Get all your new devices secured

For many of us (particularly those with younger family members), Christmas mainly means one thing - presents. That means an influx of new gadgets and tech tools being unwrapped, turned on, and connected to the Internet. But keeping all these devices safe is something else entirely, as hackers often target the Christmas period to attack unwary new users.

You can keep all your new devices protected by ensuring you always have the latest software updates and security patches installed - and it's best to do so as soon as new upgrades are released, as hackers often try to target unprotected devices during these windows. 

This isn’t just true for laptops and traditional PCs either - keeping new smartphones, wearables, tablets and even smart home devices such as routers and televisions updated can be vital in keeping your devices protected.

Bitdefender Total Security provides comprehensive protection against all major cyberthreats across mobile and PC devices, including Android, iOS, Windows, and macOS, with up to 15 devices per household covered by your subscription.  

Change your passwords

As we mentioned, new devices at Christmas are often eagerly unwrapped and connected, but sometimes in this haste, factory or default passwords get forgotten.

It’s best to make sure all your accounts or logins have unique passwords employing a mix of letters, numbers and special characters that are changed regularly, meaning hackers and other cybercriminals can’t gain access.

Using the same passwords for different accounts can be risky, as if one is compromised, hackers could then be able to gain access to others.

Although this may seem like a lot to remember, Bitdefender Total Security comes with an in-built Password Manager service, that lets you keep track of all your accounts, ensuring your details stay safe.   

Roll out the controls

If you've splashed out on new smartphones, laptops or other internet-connected devices for your children this Christmas, it might be worth additionally ensuring they stay safe with some online controls.

Children are easy targets for criminals looking to exploit a lack of proper security knowledge to scam users into giving away login details or password information, especially on supposedly family-friendly services such as gaming sites.

Bitdefender Total Security comes with a range of family safety features, including Advanced Parental Control, which lets you monitor and supervise your family's online activities. The fully customisable platform means you can filter out inappropriate pages, limit screen time, and block them from any harmful content, making sure everyone is protected.   

Keep an eye out for scams

Finally, when it comes to security, it's always wise to stay ahead of the latest threats. 

Hackers and scammers often try to exploit victims at this time of year, when many people are relaxing without the spectre of work. But it can be easy to fall victim to "holiday brain", slip up and unwittingly open up a scam link or email.

Phishing scams, where hackers send emails that impersonate legitimate organisations, or even your own employer, look to steal personal information such as login details that could put your online habits at risk.

If you think you’ve been targeted with a phishing email, it's worth spending a bit more time checking any suspicious messages. Phishing emails try their best to look real, but often contain obvious spelling, imaging or formatting errors, or have clearly malicious links going to unknown URLs.

For extra protection, Bitdefender Total Security goes beyond usual antivirus and malware offerings, featuring sophisticated anti-phishing protection and blocking websites that masquerade as trustworthy in order to steal financial data such as passwords or credit card numbers.