Keep cybersafe this shopping season!
It’s that time of year again, the season of jaw-dropping sales and irresistible discounts. As the excitement builds, so does the lurking threat of cybercriminals who are poised to prey on online shoppers. The allure of fantastic deals can be overwhelming, but if you’re not cautious, you might inadvertently expose your personal information, including your bank details, address, and even your social security number, to the prying eyes of hackers. Although it seems daunting, there are many ways to keep your information safe this season. We have compiled 7 essential cyber safety tips that will keep your personal information secure as you shop.
Beware of Phishing Emails
Cyber scammers use deceiving tactics to make their fake deals seem real. They often send phishing emails with links that, when clicked, could give them access to your personal information. To avoid getting caught in their trap, be vigilant about the sender of the email and avoid downloading any attachments from unknown sources. Even if the deals in these emails seem irresistible, resist the urge to click on any links. Instead, visit the retailer’s website directly to verify the offer’s authenticity.
Shop from Reputable Retailers
One of the best ways to protect your personal information is by shopping from well-known and trusted online retailers or local stores. If you are considering trying a new website or store, make sure to research its legitimacy or ask someone you know if they have used the website before. Looking up reviews about the store online as well to ensure that it’s a reliable store. Shopping with established, trustworthy businesses reduces the risk of falling victim to online scams.
Use Secure Websites
Only shop on websites with https:// in the URL or a padlock symbol in the address bar. Both are indications of a secure website. Be cautious about sharing your personal information on sites that lack these security indicators.
Watch for Fake Websites
Cybercriminals may create fake websites into tricking shoppers into believing they are legitimate retailers. To protect yourself, make sure to double check the URL for any typos or unusual domains for even the smallest mistake. This can be the difference between a secure transaction and a cyberattack.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Add an extra layer of security to your online accounts by using Two-Factor Authentication where applicable. Make sure to enable this feature on online shopping accounts, bank accounts, and credit cards, for extra security. This ensures that hackers cannot easily get into your accounts if they somehow get a hold of your password.
Only Use Your Credit Card
When shopping online it is a lot safer to use your credit card rather than a debit card. A credit card offers an added level of security because it is not directly linked to your bank account. In case of any fraudulent activity, credit card transactions are often easier to dispute.
Be Cautious on Social Media
Unfortunately, social media platforms aren’t immune to cyber scams. Be wary of ads and links on social media platforms. Some scammers are known to use these platforms to promote fraudulent deals. Make sure the social media account is the verified account of the company and does not have suspicious content.
As you gear up for the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping spree, keep these 7 essential cybersecurity tips in mind. By equipping yourself with knowledge and vigilance, you can enjoy the thrill of online shopping without compromising your personal information. Stay safe and secure while taking advantage of those incredible deals!