Safeguarding New Devices From Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Cyber Protect Home Office

Black Friday has come and gone, and once today’s Cyber Monday 2018 is over, we will have survived the annual marketing onslaught of retailers once again. It’s interesting to see how the sales event has evolved during the past 15 years or so – what was once a one-day, post-Thanksgiving promotion has turned into a weeklong campaign that is the biggest driver of holiday sales.

The impact for electronics and home tech has been tremendous since Black Friday creates some of the year’s absolute best deals – delivering an average discount of 24 percent off.

As retailers have expanded their Black Friday offers throughout the week, different product categories are getting bigger discounts on different days. Thanksgiving, for example, actually provides greater discounts on computers, while Black Friday is better for tablets. Cyber Monday closes the long weekend as online retailers cater to those who don’t want to fight the crowds – with a focus on software and smaller, easy-to-ship items.

No matter what day you got your new device, however, you’ll want to take a few steps to keep that device – and your data – protected.

Update the device’s firmware

Firing up that new device while it still has that fresh-from-the-box smell might be tempting, but it’s best to make sure the operating system and firmware are up-to-date first. Given how quickly new malware threats like ransomware and cryptojacking are being spread, manufacturers must constantly distribute security patches to close vulnerabilities.

Rather than risk an infection on your new device, you should confirm it is running the most current software. It’s also recommended that you change the default settings, allowing for automatic system updates that will help keep your device’s firmware current.

Move old data to your new device

Like most people, you’ll want to get the files, photos, and apps from your current device onto your new one as quickly as possible. After all, you can’t show off your new device to coworkers if your calendar reminders are lost and you miss the next team meeting.

Upgrading to a new version of the same device is simple since there’s typically a built-in backup option that streamlines the process for you. Android’s Backup Assistant, for example, makes it easy to migrate your existing data to that new Samsung Galaxy.

If you’re one of the many multi-device, multi-platform households, however, you might start running into some challenges. That’s because services like Backup Assistant or iCloud for Apple’s iOS devices don’t let you easily change digital ecosystems. Moving from an old Android to new Android is easy, as is migrating data from an iPhone 8 to iPhone X.

Just don’t try moving from a Samsung Galaxy 8S to an iPhone X using a native solution. You’ll need something like Acronis True Image 2019 Cyber Protection. You can change your tablet, smartphone or laptop by creating a backup and using our Universal Restore capability to recover the data to a new device quickly, easily and reliably.

Locking and tracking your device

Considering how many laptops and mobile devices come with integrated biometric security measures – like facial recognition or fingerprint scanners – it should go without saying that you need to ensure only you have access to your new machine.

This security measure is particularly important considering how many apps remain constantly logged in “for your convenience.” That convenience comes with a data-safety tradeoff. If someone else can access your smartphone and your mobile banking app is always connected, for example, they can get at your banking information ... and your money. Similarly, they can ruin your reputation if they gain control over your social media profiles.

Using strong passwords for your computer profile and mobile devices, in addition to the biometric safeguards, can prevent others from taking control of things like your data, apps, and social media accounts.

Another security tradeoff comes with the ease with which we can transport devices. The fact that you can slip your iPhone into your pocket means a thief can do the same, so you’ll want to be able to track your devices in case they get lost or stolen. Most modern machines come with some kind of integrated location tracking, but remember that feature must be activated before the device disappears.

Be sure to turn on that feature as soon as you take your new devices out of the box.

Final Thought

Cyber protection is all too often about taking preventative measures before problems arise, so in the wake of Black Friday, it’s important to remember that just as the sales event continues to evolve so to do the threats that can render your newly purchased devices useless. Thankfully, you can help ensure years of safety and reliable use by taking a few simple steps as soon as you unbox your goods.

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