Connectivity is a priority for everything, but it's not risk-free

You move at a fast pace, and it's all made possible by the internet and your go-to gadgets. 
But staying safe is just as important as staying connected: learn about the risks that come with connectivity and secure your transactions and devices. 

You rely heavily on technology and the internet, and it’s no wonder: with a million and one activities and tasks to manage, getting through your schedule seamlessly is a top priority. 

For example, today’s fast-moving world makes being able to turn on your washing machine while you’re stuck in traffic a great way to save some time. Using your smartwatch to quickly pay for that cup of coffee, asking your AI assistant to search for the dinner recipe you’ll be using later… the list of advantages that tech brings with it are practically endless. 

But it’s not a risk-free world, and knowing what some of the dangers are is key to staying protected against those threats. 

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Hyperconnectivity 

Let’s take hyperconnectivity. The Internet of Things makes it possible for you to keep all of your devices connected and in sync. Sounds convenient, right? That’s because it is! But taking precautions to keep your connections safe will help you avoid bumps along the road.

Changing your passwords regularly or securing your router and home network are great ways to prevent security breaches. 

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Smart Purchases

Smart payments are also an opportunity for cyber attacks. We use our mobile devices for practically everything these days, and it’s no secret that they make our lives easier. But when it comes to shopping, things like the long list of payment apps, near field communications (when you hold up your phone or watch, for example, to make a transfer), search engines using the internet to make purchases, and much more make staying alert important. 

Some tips to keep in mind include keeping your devices password locked, only downloading apps from trusted sources and using secure Wi-Fi to make your transactions. 

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AI Assistants 

What about smart assistants? There’s no denying their convenience, and it seems that they can do more and more every day. While there are some limits to what they can help you with, it’s easy to think of them as omnipotent. That said, they’re still devices that are connected to the internet, which means risks remain. 

Luckily, taking the necessary security measures with your go-to helper is as easy as asking them to put on some music. First things first: mute the device when you’re not using it and disable voice recording. Resist the temptation to sync things like your contacts list, calendar or home security system to your assistant. 

If you take these steps and use strong passwords to boot, you can get all of the benefits of AI-powered software with the added plus of peace of mind. 

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Disposing of your Devices

Technology changes rapidly and renews itself constantly. That means that you’re often left with older, unused devices after you’ve made the latest upgrade. It’s important to remember that your old gadgets can still pose a security risk, even if you’ve deleted files. 

Get informed on how to properly wipe your device based on which OS you had. Doing this will take care of removing everything from emails to chats on social media to stored passwords and more. 

Once you’ve wiped your device, check and see whether you can sell it, recycle it, donate it or take it back to your service provider. 

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Travel Safety 

The holidays are in full effect, and that means travel for a lot of people —  but security risks can still poke holes in holiday cheer. Luckily, taking the necessary steps to stay safe when you travel this season is a cinch. 

Avoid using public Wi-Fi if you can and make sure that your devices are encrypted to prevent unwanted access to your data. Because this season generally means more shopping, be wary of scams, phishing and vishing. 

Your credit card providers carry fraud liability clauses, so use these to make purchases whenever possible. Your debit card may not cover you fully if your account is compromised. 

Enjoying the most wonderful time of the year is easy when you keep yourself and your gadgets safe. 

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