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Staying Cyber-Secure at Parties

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10.13.2021
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Security
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Michael Quirk

The holiday season is in full-swing, and with it comes a flurry of accompanying social gatherings. As you attend your friend or family member’s soiree, you may not know everyone in attendance. Are you ensuring your phone and its contents are protected during these get-togethers? Here are five ways you can stay cyber-secure at your parties this holiday season.

Connect Only to Wi-Fi You Trust

The chances of someone at a party stealing your private information via a Wi-Fi connection are slim, but it is better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true if the party is at an apartment complex or in a rented-out venue, as others outside the party may also have access to that network. Ensuring you are on a safe and secure network is always a good idea, no matter the occasion.

Ensure Payment Apps Have a PIN

Some payment apps, such as Venmo, have seen fraudulent activities, namely from a stranger taking photos for you on your phone. When handing your phone off for someone to take a picture, it may be easy for that person to go on over to your Venmo and send themselves a payment. However, the app allows you to set up a PIN which shields you from such an attempt, so make sure you have one in place.

Set Your Phone to a Playlist

Every party tends to have an aspiring DJ who loves to connect to the speakers and play their songs. If that’s you, set up a playlist in advance. That way, you may cut down on the list of people asking for your phone’s private passcode to try their hand at playing music from your phone. Just ensure to keep the good tunes coming!

Always Type in Your Own Password

Gone are the days of, “I don’t know” and “I don’t have that CD,” replaced by Google and Spotify, putting the world at our fingertips. That may leave your phone vulnerable to others asking for your password so they can look something up, play a new song or anything else your phone has at its disposal.

Any time someone asks for your passcode, simply ask for your phone so you can type it in yourself. Keeping your passcode private, especially from others who may hear it in passing, can keep you safe.

Turn On Location Services

One of the worst-case scenarios regarding your cybersecurity can be if someone swipes your phone when you are not looking. Since all phones look similar these days, someone may accidentally take your phone thinking it is their own.  Turn on your location services so if your phone is accidentally taken, you know where to find it.

Following those five tips will hopefully help you stay cyber-secure at any gathering, which will give you peace of mind knowing your private information is protected.

 

By: Michael Quirk

Michael Quirk is the communications coordinator for Ameris Bank. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Katy, and their two dogs. He enjoys running, playing fetch with his golden retriever and watching any sports that come across the TV.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Ameris Bank does not endorse nor is affiliated with the companies listed in this article.