With the holiday season in full swing, Concentric’s corporate intelligence team offers the following recommendations to keep you, your family, and business activities safe as you welcome in the new year. Whether traveling or celebrating at home, you can expect increased crime due to malicious actors who use the holidays to target gatherings, unsuspecting shoppers and tourists.
New Years Safety
New Years Eve and Day celebrations come with enhanced security risks. These holidays are amongst the most deadly for car and pedestrian accidents. Criminals might also be on the lookout for homes that are empty during the holiday as targets for break-ins.
To ensure your festivities, homes, businesses and families stay safe, Concentric offers the following recommendations:
- Plan transportation for you, your family, and your guests in advance.
- Avoid leaving your car overnight as New Year’s day is the most active holiday for car thefts.
- Keep your phone charged so you are prepared in the event of an emergency.
- Remain on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary, even during parties. In one instance, two armed robbers broke into a Los Angeles home during a party, and stripped guests of jewelry, phones, and other valuables.
- Be careful with what you share on social media. Criminals may watch your social media to identify your purchases and travel plans.
As you finalize online purchases as well as think about any returns, we encourage you to remain vigilant as the holiday season presents a prime opportunity for criminals to target shoppers and tourists through schemes and cyber attacks. This can be done through online scams, such as emails, ads, and social media posts offering holiday promotions or contests which are designed to trick consumers into revealing personal information. Perpetrators might also use fake charities to trick individuals into making donations or fraudulent gift cards to facilitate the purchase of goods and services.
Concentric recommends several steps to avoid online holiday shopping scams:
- Verify the legitimacy of websites before providing financial or personal information.
- Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your personal and professional accounts and devices and use strong passwords and a password manager to generate and store unique passwords.
- Do not click on email or text message links from unknown senders and verify any “known” senders.
As you return home from holiday travels, you are likely to face heightened security risks posed by malicious actors who target unsuspecting tourists. Travelers are often prime targets for thieves due to their limited knowledge of the surrounding area and their high-value purchases. Malicious actors may attempt to break into holiday accommodations or rental cars, pickpocket wallets, and snatch and grab purses or shopping bags. Travelers are also particularly at risk of physical theft of devices, having their identity and data stolen while using public networks, malware planted on their devices and targeted ransom attacks, and cryptojacking of their devices to mine cryptocurrencies.
Concentric recommends taking the following actions to ensure you are protected against cyber criminals:
- Utilize a VPN while traveling and avoid connecting to unsecure public Wi-Fi (such as at hotels, airports, and cafes).
- Install remote wipe capability on all devices and purchase business travel insurance to mitigate potential damages due to stolen devices or data.
Concentric’s Intelligence and Security Services
Concentric is here to help protect you and your family during the holidays and beyond. We provide measures which not only help to deter criminals, but also mitigate and investigate wrongdoings. Consider reaching out to a Concentric representative for any of the following services:
- Security risk assessments that identify physical vulnerabilities around your residence;
- Cyber vulnerability assessments which identify weaknesses in your cyber practices to help mitigate hacking and doxxing attempts;
- Eclipse by Concentric scrubs personal identifiable information from the internet and provides solutions for ransomware;
- Active monitoring services to protect you during upcoming travel and high-profile events;
- Executive Protection agents that accompany you during high-risk events and travel or protect your home while abroad.