Holiday dangers are not confined just to toys or fights at the mall, of course. Over the past decade, this has become the high season for consumer cybercrime as well.
You must be vigilant – wary of fake websites run by “typosquatters,” who misspell just one letter of your favorite sites. You also need to check to see that the sites use encryption, that they don’t share your personal information.
You should never shop on an unsecured wireless connection – hackers are saying a thankful “Ho, ho, ho” to everybody who does, as they casually steal their credit card numbers. If you click on an attachment or a hyperlink in an email from someone you think is a friend or a vendor, you are likely to end up with an invasion of malware.
And on and on. It’s just another flood of reminders that there are thousands or even millions of your fellow humans out there hoping to benefit from ruining your holidays.
Given all that cheerless news, it is no wonder that there are also the usual warnings making the rounds about the “holiday blues.” It seems you cannot escape them no matter what you do. Being without family and friends can leave one depressed and fatigued. But then parties, family reunions and houseguests can lead to headaches, excessive drinking, overeating, and difficulty sleeping.
The only thing sadder than all that is the post-holiday letdown – I guess that’s a depression caused by too much depression.
I think there is a somewhat simple cure for all this. Lower your expectations. Then, whatever good happens, as it surely will, will be a happy surprise.
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at email@example.com