cyber attack, cyber security, hacking, hacker
Do not let a well directed cyber attack spoil all of those cheer and online shopping plans. Image Credit: Shutterstock

We spend so much time making our gift list that it never crosses our minds what happens behind the scenes on our chosen e-commerce platform. There are many threats online during the holiday season and it’s important to make sure that as you navigate shopping online, you are doing so safely.

Often, we get so excited about purchasing and opening a brand-new device that we forget how to make use of our old one. Have you thought about recycling your old version or extending the battery life of your current tech toy? We are here to guide you so you can revel in the holiday cheer.

Safe shopping

The convenience of the web continues to create new opportunities for online shopping through apps, microsites, etc. However, it’s also a time of year when experts see an uptick in cyberattacks. Businesses and, consequently shoppers need to be aware that the weeks leading up to the holidays pose a large threat for ransomware attacks.

To help keep the information private, be vigilant and follow these tips to stay protected while shopping online:

  • Use a secure website by looking at the URL (https://).
  • Strive to use sites from reputable brands.
  • Avoid making purchases on public computers and public wi-fi as they may contain malicious software.
  • Ensure you have a strong password or passphrase, consisting of numbers, letters and special characters.
  • Never reuse or recycle passwords and use multi-factor authentication whenever possible.
  • Never click on suspicious links.

Bought a new PC - now what?

Data is often stored on the hard drive of your PC or computing device. So, when it’s time to make that holiday upgrade to the beautiful new system you had your eye on, you’ll want to safely remove your personal files and information from the old device before disposing of it.

Some computers already have data removal software. Many of our models include the Dell Data Wipe feature built into the BIOS. Other brands may have similar software. If your computer does not have software to erase the hard drive, there is software you can purchase.

We see out-of-use devices as valuable resources that can go on to be refurbished, reused or recycled. We believe in cross-industry collaboration for sustainability by tapping into global supply chains and recycling the materials needed to produce our devices. This point aligns with our 2030 goal to reuse or recycle an equivalent product for each one sold.

We believe in keeping materials in circulation and out of landfill. For instance, when electronics come back to us via recycling, return, off-lease or other means, we first see if the technology can still be used – resold or donated to someone who needs it. If not, we may reuse viable parts to help repair and remanufacture other units. Whatever is left gets responsibly recycled by our partners.

How does it work? If we cannot use a material in a closed-loop process for ourselves, we know someone else who can put it to good use. Materials like plastic, glass and metals often get sold back to the commodities markets where they are bought by other manufacturers.

We recycle millions of pounds of closed-loop plastics to make new parts for new computers and monitors each year. After materials are disassembled, the plastics are shredded, melted and then mixed with virgin plastics.

The average closed-loop recycled content of the resins we use is 30-35 per cent. Internal estimates show it takes about six months for the plastics to leave our customers’ hands, go through the process, and return as a new computer. Best of all? We are saving money and protecting our environment at the same time – it’s a perfect example of what circular design should be.

Extended battery life

Now that you have your new laptop up and running, let’s make sure the battery life will last as long as possible during your travels this holiday season.

  • Power off your device before placing it in a laptop bag or other enclosed area.
  • Always use the original AC adapter provided with the laptop. Do not use third-party AC adapters or batteries.
  • Reduce the brightness of the screen.
  • Reduce the amount of open software.