Please remind teens, kids and adults who might receive computers for the holidays this year to patch them before general use. They should ensure that software and network firewalls are in place before connecting them to ANY network.
They should also ensure that they have anti-malware software that is up to date for any and all operating systems (even Linux and OS X) and that they follow other general guidelines of safe computing.
Remember, fight the urge to save the safety speech for another time. If the system gets compromised while they are using it for a test drive – being safe later will likely not help them be protected against bots, identity theft and other illicit computing dangers. It only takes one moment of exposure to compromise the system on an irreparable scale.
Happy and safe holidays to everyone. Have a joyous, peaceful and wonderful holiday season!