Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the year. This is a great time to find amazing deals on everything from electronics to clothing to home goods. However, it's also a time when cybercriminals are extra active, looking to take advantage of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. In fact, a recent study by the National Retail Federation (NRF) found that cybercrime costs retailers an estimated $65.4 billion annually.
To help you protect yourself from cybercrime during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we've put together some tips for safe online shopping. Follow these guidelines to ensure your personal information and financial assets remain secure.
1. How to identify 'secure' websites.
- Only shop on websites that use a secure connection, indicated by a "https://" in the address bar and a padlock icon in the browser's status bar.
2. Avoid phishing scams.
- Be wary of emails or text messages that appear to be from legitimate retailers but have suspicious links or attachments. Phishing scams often try to trick you into revealing your personal information or clicking on malicious links.
3. Use strong passwords.
- Create strong passwords for all of your online accounts, including your email, banking, and shopping accounts. Avoid using easily guessed passwords, such as your birthday or common words.
4. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Whenever possible, enable 2FA on your online accounts. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or email in addition to your password when logging in.
5. Be cautious about public Wi-Fi.
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi to make online purchases or access sensitive information. Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and can be easily compromised by cybercriminals.
6. Use a credit card for online purchases.
- Credit cards offer more protection than debit cards in case of fraudulent transactions. Make sure you use a reputable credit card company and review your statements regularly for any unauthorized charges.
7. Keep your software up to date.
- Make sure your operating system, web browser, and other software are up to date with the latest security patches. These patches often fix vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.
8. Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true deals.
- If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of offers that are significantly lower than the average price for a particular item.
9. Shop from reputable retailers.
- Only shop from retailers that you know and trust. Do some research on the retailer before making a purchase to make sure they have a good reputation.
10. Be careful what information you share online.
- Don't share personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account information, on social media or in emails. Only share this information with trusted websites and retailers.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from cybercrime and enjoy a safe and secure Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping experience.
- Use a password manager to generate and store strong passwords for all of your online accounts.
- Be careful what information you share on social media. Cybercriminals can use this information to target you with phishing scams or other forms of identity theft.
- Install antivirus and anti-malware software on your computer and keep it up to date.
- Be aware of common scams, such as the "Nigerian prince" scam or the "grandparent scam."
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from cybercrime and enjoy a safe and secure online shopping experience.
VECTOR CHOICE ADVANTAGE
Vector Choice is here to help businesses implement MFA and
provide employee training to help keep sensitive business and customer
information safe. We can assess your current security posture, develop and
implement a plan to deploy MFA to all users and devices, provide training and
support, and monitor usage.
If you are interested in purchasing any of our services, please schedule a free 10-minute Discovery Call with us here!