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Safer Online Shopping Advice For The Holiday Season

ISACA : 24 November, 2010  (Technical Article)
ISACA is marking Cyber Monday next week with some essential advice for employees and their employers on conducting safe online shopping without encountering breaches of security
The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it comes Cyber Monday (Nov. 29), one of the busiest online shopping days of the year. A national survey from ISACA, a non-profit global IT governance association, shows that 71 percent of employees who plan to shop online at work will do so from Black Friday (Nov. 26) through to mid-December.

47% of employees shopping online will use their company-issued mobile devices: notebook computers, tablets or smart phones. "Digital natives"—ages 18-34, the generation that has grown up with the Internet—are even more likely to shop using mobile devices, and are the least likely to use secure browsing technology. As mobile devices are increasingly used in the workplace, the need for network security policies to protect sensitive data on these devices is also increasing.

"Companies need to create a realistic security policy that lets employees stay mobile without compromising the company's intellectual property. To balance productivity and security, the IT mantra should be embrace and educate," said Mark Lobel, CISA, CISM, CISSP, ISACA mobile security project leader and a principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

ISACA offers the following holiday shopping online security tips:

Tips for companies:

1. Promote employee awareness of the company IT security policy through an "embrace and educate" approach.
2. Encrypt data on mobile devices.
3. Use secure browsing technology.
4. Take advantage of industry leading good practices, such as Business Model for Information Security (BMIS).

Tips for employees:

1. Do not click on an e-mail or web link. Type the web site URL into your browser to avoid phishing attacks.
2. Protect sensitive information by password-protecting your mobile device and its memory card.
3. Be especially cautious with data on mobile devices; use a screen shield.
4. Ensure that the security tools and processes protecting your work-supplied mobile devices are up to date. If unsure, ask IT.
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