Bytes Blog: Staying Cyber Secure during the Festive Period

Monday 4th December 2023

Writer: Gennaro Migliaccio, Contributor: Giuseppe Damiano, Editor: Daniela Miccardi


Whilst Cyber Security is crucial all year round, it is especially important to stay safe during the festive period. 

Cyber criminals take advantage of increased online browsing & shopping activity and social interactions. 

Below are some top tips to help you and your business stay secure during this eventful time of the year.


Let’s face it, Phishing attacks are still one of the leading ways of becoming compromised. Whilst most phishing attacks are delivered via email, there has been a noticeable increase in phishing messages sent via SMS (Smishing). 

With these types of attacks, the malicious actor pretends to be a legitimate source, typically with the goal of getting you or your users to open a malicious attachment, or click on a link to a malicious site, which silently installs malware or grab sensitive information such as Usernames, Passwords, Card Details, etc.

Phishing attacks are designed to trick you and take advantage of your human nature. Typically, they convey a sense of urgency to act on the request within the message and get you to click on a link to install a payload or provide details. 

Examples of these attacks we’ve come across during past festive period are: 

  • A postal delivery service stating that they have attempted delivery and need to schedule redelivery of your package, leveraging the high chance that you have ordered something online. 
  • Emails that contain Discounts and Deals, normally spoofed and created to look like they are from well-known retailers. 
  • Fake E-Greeting cards, where a message ask you to click on a link or download a malicious attachment in order to access and view the greetings card.

The key thing is to be cautious with any email or text message that you receive.

Anything that asks for personal information should be avoided. Messages that incite urgency are typically malicious and should be approached with suspicion

Top Tips to Staying Safe in the Festive Period:

  • Use Strong and Unique passwords across your services/applications
    > Enable Multi-factor Authentication where possible
    > Look into using a password vault for saving your long and complex passwords
  • Shop from only trusted sources/brands
    > Avoid clicking on ads and links that take you away from the original site
    > It’s very easy to “shop around” when the item you want goes out of stock, this can sometimes lead you to a compromised or malicious site
    > Remember, if something is too good to be true, it normally is 
  • Keep your devices up to date and health
    > Phones, Tablets, Laptops and Desktops should be kept up to date, this includes updates to the OS, Applications and AV software
    > Remove unwanted and unused applications on devices
    > Ensure you have suitable backups in place for your data
    > Avoid installing less reputable applications
  • Don’t overshare your information publicly
     > void sharing too much information on social media, as this will allow Cyber criminals to gather data about you and use it in a phishing attack
    > Make time to review your privacy settings and personal details on social media applications
    - Close or disable online accounts that are not being used
    > Be very cautious sharing information such as your address, bank details and identification or official documents


It’s very easy for the festive period to be ruined by cyber criminals. Don’t make it easier for them.

The right amount of diligence and time applied on security can make a huge difference.

Whilst the above is by no means an exhaustive list, it should outline key considerations that all users should bear in mind to ensure the attack surface remains to be small as possible.

My biggest piece of advice is: always make time for security! Do not consider security only after something bad has happened, but be proactive and be aware of what is possible. Keep important and personal information secure but maintaining vigilant. 

Thank you for reading.

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