Protecting Yourself and Your Practice
As the festive season approaches, so does the unwelcome arrival of the ‘Cyber Grinch’—a metaphor for the surge in cyber scams during the holidays. Just like the Grinch in Dr. Seuss’s classic, these cybercriminals aim to dampen our holiday spirit. But fear not! With awareness and the right precautions, you can keep your digital Christmas merry and bright.
Steve Genge, CEO Alexio Corporation
Phishing: The Disguised Emails
Phishing scams are like those unwanted fruitcakes—seemingly harmless but potentially harmful. Scammers send emails or texts that mimic legitimate companies, offering amazing holiday deals or urgent messages about your account. Always verify the source before clicking any link. Remember, no reputable company will ask for sensitive information via email.
Here’s a quick video about online shopping scams:
Fake Websites: The Imitation Game
Imagine walking into a store full of Christmas decorations, only to realize it’s all a facade and that behind it is a gang waiting to pounce on you to steal your wallet. That’s what fake websites are. They replicate real e-commerce sites to steal your data. Check for HTTPS in the website address and look out for poor grammar or design. It’s the equivalent of spotting a high-quality fake Christmas tree—attention to detail is key.
E-Skimming: The Invisible Theft
E-skimming is the digital equivalent of someone pickpocketing your wallet while you’re distracted by holiday lights. When you shop online, cybercriminals can steal credit card details through compromised websites. Ensure your antivirus is updated and use credit cards instead of debit cards for better fraud protection.
Social Media Scams: The Wolf in Sheeps Clothing
These scams are like those giant, eye-catching Christmas inflatables—fun on the outside but full of hot air. From fake holiday giveaways to fraudulent charity drives, scammers use social media to lure victims. Be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true and research charities before donating.
Package Delivery Scams: The False Promise
The excitement of an impending package is akin to waiting for Santa. But beware of messages about delivery issues or tracking links from unknown sources. They might be traps to steal personal information. Always use the official courier website or app for tracking.
Stay Safe – Get Training
As we decorate our trees and plan our holiday shopping, let’s keep cybersecurity top of mind. If you haven’t already, take the Cybersecurity Essentials for Dental Teams course to ensure you have the skills and confidence to navigate safely online to protect patient and personal data.
Stay vigilant, educate your loved ones, and remember, the best gift you can give yourself this Christmas is the peace of mind that comes from staying safe online. Don’t let the Cyber Grinch steal your Christmas joy; with these tips, you’re well on your way to a secure and happy holiday season.
Anne Genge, Certified Information Privacy Professional, Certified Healthcare Cybersecurity Professional, Certified Healthcare Security Risk Assessment Specialist.
Anne is the founder of Myla Training Co., Canada’s first-ever online privacy and cybersecurity training platform for dental professionals. With over two decades of experience, Anne has become a leading expert and trainer in this field. Anne collaborates closely with practice owners, managers, dental teams, and IT providers to ensure the safety of patients and practice data while enabling compliance with privacy regulations.
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