Black Friday is next week. Let that sink in. Next week. Which means the holiday shopping season has kicked off. Now if you’re anything like me, you avoid the crowds and shop online from the comfort of your own home. However, if you aren’t careful, this can be risky. Our cyber security expert, Dodi Glenn, shared the top five tips to stay safe for online shoppers.
- If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Many malware developers know now is the time to target online shoppers and they will use intriguing “deals” to generate clicks. Whether it is ads offering free products, or a “new” website that has the best deals out there. Chances are you’ll never receive the product, but a stolen identity instead.
- Look out for fake delivery confirmation emails. These typically contain malware and can compromise your computer. If you ordered online, it is best to go directly to the website you ordered from, obtain your tracking number there and then go to the appropriate delivery service website to track the package.
- Social media sites have become a popular platform to target potential customers. Be on the lookout for fake ads, coupons, or freebies offered. This goes for emails offering prizes or gift cards too! Many times not only will these “deals” result in hackers stealing your payment information, but also could include malware to infect your computer.
- Avoid using public WiFi while making online purchases. This means, don’t do your online shopping while sipping your pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. Get it to go, and shop from your couch! Using public WiFi’s are not secure, leaving the door open to hackers.
- If you shop online, use a credit card. That way, if your information is stolen the cyber criminals are not tying up your personal funds from your checking or savings account.