CHRISTMAS is a time for joy and merriment – but it’s also when hackers and scammers strike.
Cyber-experts have warned that Facebook users need to be careful over the festive season.
It’s a bid to avoid falling victim to a surge in digital scams.
So it’s more important than ever to check your Facebook account and make sure it’s in good shape.
Scammers and hackers prey on shopping habits, festive good will and new tech to hijack your accounts.
Facebook has billions of users around the world, so it’s a key target for online crooks.
We spoke to several cyber-experts who revealed how to stay safe on Facebook this Christmas.
“Our number one tip for staying safe while using Facebook this Christmas is to check which apps from other companies you’ve used Facebook to log into,” said Jamie Ahktar, CEO at CyberSmart, speaking to The Sun.
“Although most of these apps will be legitimate, most of us have used a dodgy quiz or game app in our time.
“And the problem is that these apps can often be used by cybercriminals to hack your account or steal data.
“The good news is that it’s a very simple fix that shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
“Just head to the privacy settings in your account and clear your ‘off-Facebook history’.
“Doing this once every six months or so is a simple but effective way to improve your online security.”
Many hackers and scammers will attempt to impersonate your loved ones.
This is an easy way to get cash out of you on apps like Facebook – without even having to hijack your accounts.
“Look out for messages supposedly from friends or family asking for donations, loans, and other possible financial issues,” Chris Hauk, consumer privacy champion at Pixel Privacy, told The Sun.
“Also, never click on the ads in your Facebook feed, as this is a popular method among scammers to separate you from your money and credit card info.”
Ultimately, one of the best ways to stay safe is to simply secure your account with a strong password.
Don’t re-use passwords across websites, and never choose one that’s short or simple either.
“Ironically, some of the best ways to keep yourself safe this Christmas are not even high-tech,” said Erich Kron, a cyber-expert at KnowBe4, speaking to The Sun.
“As always, passwords are a risk for most people, especially when they are reused across different websites.
“Cybercriminals know that if they get one password, it is likely to work in other places, so they work hard to trick people into giving them up.”
Cyber-expert Sam Curry added: “In the short term, consumers should protect themselves with strong passwords and also enable two-factor authentication.
“Resetting passwords is always a good security measure, and you’d be surprised how many people today still use the password 123456 or ABCDEF,” the Cybereason chief security officer explained.
“In this day and age, and with a more complex and diverse attack surface, this is never a good idea.
“Laziness is no excuse, as hackers prey on this and their biggest asset is patience and time.”
Best Phone and Gadget tips and hacks
Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find those secret features within social media apps? We have you covered…
Get all the latest WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other tech gadget stories here.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at email@example.com