Loyola University Maryland

Technology Services

Holiday Cybersecurity Tips

Social media hacker graphicAs you do your holiday shopping and travel around the holidays, keep in mind these tips for keeping your information secure.

Public Wifi

  • Avoid utilizing public wifi as much as possible, especially when dealing with personal and financial information on the web
  • Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your internet connection and keep information private and secure


  • Ensure that you install antivirus and any other forms of cybersecurity software on all of your devices
  • Keep browsers and systems consistently up-to-date to prevent malware or other viruses from accessing your sensitive data

Scams and Phishing

  • Be very careful when approaching pop-up ads on social media, shopping sites, and in unfamiliar emails
  • Verify prices and buy products from legitimate retail websites
  • Understand the functions of internet-connected smart devices and what information they can collect and use


  • Refrain from using debit cards to make online purchases, as they are directly bank-linked
  • Credit cards have laws to limit your liability and prevent instances of insufficient funds
  • Additional services linked to your credit card are encouraged

URLs and Hyperlinks

  • Check the site address you are planning to interact with to ensure it is accurate character-for-character
  • Check for SSL encryption by looking for the "S" after HTTP in the browser URL bar to verify a site is secure before entering information


  • If you believe you are a victim of malware, phishing, or scamming, immediately disconnect from the internet without turning off your device and call the Help Center at ext. 5555
  • If you can't contact Tech Services, reach out to the involved organizations/companies to encourage further investigation