Cyber Monday is tomorrow and that means people will be surfing the web with their debt and credit cards ready to buy stuff for cheap. Although Cyber Monday is a great and happy day for the consumer, it’s also a great and happy day for hackers!
We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you stay safe when shopping online:
1. Secure your wireless network
Make sure you have a password on your WiFi and that others can’t access your personal information without your knowledge.
2. Use an anti-phishing software
It has alerts that help detect phishing scams. Also, watch for cyber scammers sending phishing emails. If you get an e-mail touting a great sale, it is better to copy the web address from the email and key into your browser rather than clicking the link.
3. Don’t Trust all those emails
When your inbox floods with those “great Cyber Monday deals” emails be aware that some of them aren’t safe. Those deals that seem too-good-to-be-true can be scams. Cyberattacks take but a split second to occur sometimes all that’s required is clicking on a link in an email. Look for clues to malicious links, such as an extra “.cc” at the end of what would otherwise be a trusted domain name. Take the time to make sure you’re on the correct website.
4. Look for the https://
The “s” stands foe secure. Along with the https in the web address also make sure you see the small lock icon in the address bar when you get to the payment steps.
5. Use a different password for every site
Never use the same password across your accounts or sites. Your passwords should contain a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
6. Use trusted vendors.
Limiting your shopping to established and trusted vendors limits your chances of being accessible to hackers. Bookmark the most trusted online retail sites to make sure you don’t get redirected to fake sites. Consider using a payment system such as PayPal. If the company you purchased from gets compromised, your information will be safe because you used PayPal and hackers won’t have access to your personal information.
7. Be even more mindful when shopping on your phone or tablet.
Mobile shoppers need to be even more vigilant about security. The number one thing you should do when shopping on a mobile device is to password-protect the phone or tablet. If you’re shopping from a tablet or smartphone on Cyber Monday, use a trusted vendor’s app, not a Web browser. Vendors have more control over their own apps than they do over mobile browsers.
6. Take action immediately if you suspect identity theft.
Review credit-card and bank statements regularly during the shopping season.If you find a transaction that doesn’t match your purchases, your account may have been compromised. Contact your credit card company, your bank, and the police.