how-to-protect-yourself-from-cyber-criminals-while-wedding-planning-mcafee-tips-from-amber-harrison

The New Wedding Crasher: Cyber Criminals

Engaged couples and their wedding guests are being targeted... find out how to stay safe!

The New Wedding Crasher: Cyber Criminals

how-to-protect-yourself-from-cyber-criminals-while-wedding-planning-mcafee-tips-from-amber-harrison
Photo: Ahava Studios

Bride in Oleg Cassini gown groom in navy blue suit forest wedding
With wedding season is in full swing – the majority of weddings take place between May and October – it’s time to talk about the worst type of wedding crasher: hackers!

More than ever, couples are turning to online resources to help them plan the wedding of their dreams – from venues to dresses and even alpacas adorned with flowers for hire – but did you know that engaged couples are potentially being targeted by cybercriminals?

These creepy criminals are constantly on the prowl for new victims, and engaged couples (and their wedding guests!) could be next on their target list, due to the wealth of information they put online during this time.

With never-ending to-do lists, there is no time to worry about being hacked! Here are a few tips to help keep you and your guests safe without losing your mind.

Choose Data Over Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is an easy target for hackers and thieves, so you’ll want to steer clear if you need to do anything requiring sensitive data or personal information. That means shopping, banking, creating new accounts, or creating passwords, etc. If you know you will be doing a lot of this type of activity on the go, invest in your own personal hotspot or use a virtual private network (VPN).

If you’re really in a pinch, use your cellular data instead of Wi-Fi. Did you know that mobile traffic on cell networks is still targeted less than that of desktop traffic? Chances are it will be much more secure.

Password Protection  
While websites, apps, and online retailers can make wedding planning easier, these sites also mean creating and managing lots of new usernames and passwords.

According to a recent McAfee survey, women ages 18-24 are the biggest culprits of poor password habits, with 57 percent admitting they reuse passwords across multiple accounts.

These poor habits are especially dangerous when it comes to wedding planning. If you must repeat a username and password, plan to use one set of credentials for all wedding-related accounts and make sure it is different than any of your other logins. That way, if a hacker gets access to your wedding account, they won’t also get immediate access to more sensitive inforomation – like bank accounts or other personal and financial data.

Instead of trying to remember all these different passwords, or using the same credentials for multiple accounts, try using a password manager to help you create strong and unique passwords so you can be confident that your accounts are safe and secure. It will simplify matters so you stay both sane and safe.

Use Caution with Connected Gifts 
If you are lucky enough to receive any connected devices as wedding gifts – items like smart TVs, digital assistants, connected refrigerators, etc. – you will want to take a few precautions before connecting them. As soon as you unbox these gifts, it is important to immediately change the default password. If you don’t, devices can be hacked in less than a minute once connected. You’ll also want to be sure to update any accompanying software or apps right away, as they typically will address any potential security concerns.

Opening photo by Ahava Studios; Bridal Gown by Oleg Cassini

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