Staying Secure During the Holiday Season

December 19, 2019 - John Scheibe
2 Min read

Many people’s usual patterns are impacted during the holidays due to an increase of shopping, traveling, or a combination of both. It’s easy to forget that these activities also leave people more vulnerable to online hacks and threats. We want to help our clients protect themselves and focus more on enjoying time with family and friends.

If you’re traveling, you may think more about your personal safety, but we also encourage clients to consider cybersecurity and practicing ways to keep your personal information secure. Same goes for shopping activity, since transaction volume may be higher this time of year.

When you begin packing for a vacation, start preparing by backing up all your personal devices. It is helpful to assume your personal items could get stolen at any time. I suggest only packing the minimum number of electronic devices possible and choosing only a few cards, preferably from different banks. This allows you to have a backup while reducing the impact of a loss if it occurs. If you use a similar password for multiple websites, think about changing them to strong, unique passwords and enable multi-factor authentication on apps with personal information like your email and banking website. As an added layer of protection, make sure to use a unique password or PIN for your phone. Lastly, be careful when posting on social media about your location or when and where you will be traveling.

As you travel, keep a closer watch on what networks your phone is connecting to. Do not allow your phone to automatically connect to public WiFi or hotspots. Generally, your personal cellular network connection is more secure than a public network. Always assume public WiFi networks are penetrated with hackers and avoid accessing your financial password protected accounts while on public networks, especially when accessing your financial data. Phishing attempts and attacks increase during the holiday season, so pay close attention to your email accounts and avoid clicking on unsolicited links and attachments.

Always be aware of your surroundings when you are shopping online and in public. Tolleson Private Bank has 24/7 debit card fraud monitoring service, chip-enabled debit card, and a lock-and-unlock feature that allows you to ‘lock’ your debit card to prevent any unwanted transactions when not in use. We encourage clients to utilize these features with their cards at any banking institution where they are available.

Remember to always remain cautious when traveling, especially during the holiday season where these activities may be heighted. Tolleson Wealth Management and Tolleson Private Bank are committed to ensuring cybersecurity for our clients. We hope everyone enjoys a safe and happy holiday season!