Holiday shopping season is finally here and many of us can’t wait to surprise our loved ones with new things. Some of us are looking forward to spoiling ourselves too. 😊 Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping – these are all around the corner.
New data shows that 91 percent of the people shopping this weekend will buy at least one thing online. Mobile shopping is expected to jump 32% and will represent nearly half of all ecommerce sales. However, keep in mind that the shopping season is open for cyber criminals as well.
Cyber Criminals Are Also Shopping
Unlike you, they are not looking for exclusive deals and discounts, they are shopping for something else:
- Your passwords
- Your credit card credentials
- Account takeover
Tips To Help You Out
Here are some tips you should follow this holiday season:
- Don’t use the same password
You should avoid using the same username/password. For many, this is inconvenient and often annoying, but it will help you not become an easy victim of cybercrime. If you need help remembering your passwords, try utilizing a password manager. For sites where your data is more valuable, use stronger, more complex and unique passwords to ensure they can’t be reverse engineered by hackers.
- Don’t overshare
Don’t overshare personal information on your social media accounts. This means you should avoid sharing your birth date, hometown etc. because cyber criminals can use it to commit identity fraud or open a new account in your name. Also, don’t forget to make your profiles private jus for your close friends and family.
- Keep an eye on suspicious links
Never click on unknown or suspicious links in your email or on a website. These usually contain malware and can infect both your PC and your network. Phishing still makes up half of online frauds, so keep this in mind when you do your online shopping this Black Friday.
- Always read app permissions
Before downloading an app, make sure you have read the permission requested by the app. If you don’t, you are risking putting various pieces of malware on your device, that can record or steal your personal information.
- Don’t store your credit card credentials
Next time you are making an online purchase via an e-commerce provider, make sure you don’t store your credit card credentials and payment information in your account.
- Buy from known companies
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself online is to buy from reputable companies such as eBay, Target, Best Buy etc.
- Use your credit card
Don’t make online purchases with your bank debit card. Rather, do it with your credit card because credit cards are more sophisticated methods in preventing frauds.
- Always shop using a secure network
Don’t use public and open Wi-Fi connections to perform online purchases. Stick to the private ones that need a password. Keep in mind that web protocols such as HTTPS encrypt communications, but in some advanced attacks even those could fall to a man-in-the-middle attack. Always look for the HTTPS lock symbol in your browser address window when buying online.
- Watch out for fake deals
Cyber criminals know that you are out there looking for the best and cheapest offers. They will try to trick you by showing you ads that promise amazing deals and discounts. Don’t be fooled by this.
No Need To Worry Too Much
These warnings should not keep you from shopping online. You simply need to stay aware and follow the tips we shared with you. They will help you shop smarter and with confidence.