Advent tip #24: The Big One!

It's the night before Christmas, and all through the net,
  Lots of packets are stirring, their routing all set.
The access points hang by the chimney with care
  With hope that no hackers will ever be there.

The children are nestled in front of the screen
  Playing Minecraft together, a heart-warming scene.
And mamma with her iPad, and I with my Droid
  Have just synced our email and...

…only kidding.

You’re allowed to have offline time over Christmas, so we’re not giving you a new Advent tip today.

Instead, by popular demand, we’ve collected all the tips so far into one page so you can find them easily in the future.

Remember: when 2016 comes around, all of these tips will still be valid.

In other words, as much as we’re urging you not to let your computer security guard down over the holiday season, we’re also encouraging you to keep your security guard up every day.

Computer security is for life, not just for Christmas.

Advent tip #1: Clean up your passwords before Christmas
We’re determined to keep repeating our password advice until everybody’s listened.
Advent tip #2: Defend yourself from ransomware – back up your files!
The only backup you’ll regret is the one you forgot to do.
Advent tip #3: Set your Facebook posts to ‘Friends only’
You wouldn’t go up to a stranger in a street and tell them what you’ve been up to, so why would you let just anyone see what you’ve posted on Facebook?
Advent tip #4: Unsolicited tech support call? Just hang up!
Friends don’t let friends get squeezed for money by bogus “tech support” callers…
Advent tip #5: Change default passwords on baby monitors and webcams
If a device has a default password, the crooks know what it is! So change it if you don’t want them watching what you’re filming…
Advent tip #6: A padlock *inside* a web page? Ignore it!
HTTPS puts the padlock in your browser – but please look in the right place, and don’t be fooled by security imagery inside the web page itself.
Advent tip #7: Do I really still need Flash? Probably not…
Turning off Flash deprives malware writers of one of their favourite toys and stops con artists preying on your hair trigger for Flash security updates by using them as camouflage for malware.
Advent tip #8: (Don’t) click here for a free iPhone!
If it looks too good to be true, that’s because it probably is. Heck, forget the “probably.”
Advent tip #9: Think before you share on social media
Maybe it sounds obvious, but oversharing on social media is a BAD idea.
Advent tip #10: Don’t put off those updates!
Cybercrooks love it when you put off updates and wait to see how others get on first… you become their low-hanging fruit.
Advent tip #11: Ask permission to post photos, not forgiveness!
“Ask before you post” is a small courtesy, but it shows you care about other people’s privacy – and we think that’s a great example to set.
Advent tip #12: Don’t email your credit card details!
If you’re in search of that perfect gift, but are having trouble paying for it, you might be tempted to email your card details…
Advent tip #13: Take care if internet friends ask for money
Some internet friendships aren’t what they seem and there is a whole school of cybercrookery that devotes itself to relationship-based scams. Be careful if someone asks you for money…
Advent tip #14: Beware of login links in emails!
If you click a dodgy link in an email, it’ll take you somewhere dodgy – so your best and safest plan is not to click in the first place!
Advent tip #15: Set your Facebook so you can’t be searched for by phone number or email
By default, anyone can look you up on Facebook via your email address or phone number. You can change your privacy settings to limit who’s able to search for you.
Advent tip #16: Logout when you’re done. Yes, even from Facebook!
Staying logged in means you never need to give your online posts a second thought. But sometimes a second thought is just what you need.
Advent tip #17: “Reply All” is probably not what you want
Here’s a humorous example to remind you why “Reply All” is probably not what you want, especially during party season.
Advent tip #18: Avoid typosquatting – type carefully at Christmas!
Just one finger-slip, and you (or your children) could end up where you really don’t want to be…so type carefully this Christmas!
Advent tip #19: Grab hold and give it a wiggle!
Watch out for booby-trapped ATMs! If crooks can copy your card and record your PIN when you withdraw money, they can raid your account.
Advent tip #20: Free Wi-Fi is handy – but think before you connect!
Free Wi-Fi can save you loads of money, especially when you’re overseas and roaming – but it can also go horribly wrong…
Advent tip #21: Bought online? Watch out for bogus courier emails!
Will that last-minute gift get delivered in time? Don’t be tempted by emails that say they’re from a courier company that couldn’t deliver.
Advent tip #22: Got a new gadget for Christmas? Stop. Think. Connect.
Can’t wait to see how your new-but-unpatched laptop performs online on Christmas morning? Nor can the crooks…
Advent tip #23: Check that Java is turned off in your browser
Fewer and fewer websites actually rely on Java, so the only people who really benefit from it being on in your browser are the crooks.

Images of Christmas tree and Advent calendar courtesy of Shutterstock.