Staying Safe on Cyber Monday
Working for a marketing firm whose main clientele services the tech world, we are all too familiar with the importance of cybersecurity and how even the best kept secrets can be accessed if they aren’t properly protected. Cyber Monday is every hacker’s early Christmas with phishing emails and luring unsuspecting online shoppers into clicking on that one must-have deal that turns into an unwanted scam.
Here’s my holiday shopping checklist to help you and your personal information from becoming public this Cyber Monday:
1. Wireless Connection. Be aware of public Wi-Fi access and what you’re connecting to. Remember publicly accessible anything is NOT private, including the actions you take while being connected. Always update your security software and make sure that your firewall and antivirus software are up to date and working.
2. Spam. Stand clear of excess amounts of couponed emails/text messages to ensure you’re not falling into the trap of a phishing attempt. Do your research on deals you find especially if they’re sent directly to you. Never click on a link provided via email or text message if you are unsure; go directly to the company’s website and find the deal. Ensure that the offer is legitimate before purchasing and entering in your payment information.
3. Bank Accounts. Frequently check your bank accounts throughout the day to ensure there aren’t any suspicious charges. Fraud and identity theft are at a new high and being credited for fraudulent charges is becoming even harder for consumers.
4. Fraud Policies. Prior to Cyber-shopping double check with your bank and card holders to educate yourself on the policies they follow and consumer liability when it comes to fraudulent cases. It is always important to stay on top of what your bank offers and holds you liable for. Often some banks have options on that you can deploy on your accounts notifying and employing you to approve of each purchase that is made. Find out what precautionary options are available to you.
5. Update/Check Sources to Secure. If you’re an app shopper make sure that you have the latest version of that app and that it is the brand or company’s direct app that you’re shopping from. Do NOT click on deals or ads soliciting discounts or counter offers from other applications. At an average 30% of individuals click on links prior to becoming aware, take precaution.
Happy Holidays and safe Cyber Monday shopping!