Black Friday and Cyber Monday Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again where all you read or hear about are Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Many people don’t realize the increasing risk of shopping online during this time of year. Follow these 5 helpful tips to shop safely.
1. Use Credit Cards or a 3rd Party
Credit cards and 3rd Party Service, such as PayPal, can be a lot safer to use than a debit card. This prevents cyber criminals from gaining access to your primary bank account. If theft does occur, many credit cards promise zero liability for all fraudulent transactions.
2. Only open emails you recognize as safe
Phishing emails are the most common cyber attack because they are easy to carry out, and surprisingly effective. These attacks often come in the form of an email pretending to be from a legitimate organization, such as your bank, the tax department, or some other trusted entity. Never give away any personal or sensitive information or open any suspicious emails containing links or attachments. Plenty of hackers will use the guise of an online retailer during black friday to get you to click on a malicious link.
3. Use different passwords for accounts
We’re all guilty of this but using the same password over and over can leave you exposed to future vulnerabilities. If a company has a data breach your information is at risk and so is every account you’ve used that same password.
4. Shop on secure private networks
When you shop online, you leave a trail of data and personal information. If you aren’t on a private network, that information is susceptible. Hackers can monitor file sharing and traffic sent between users and servers on public wi-fi networks. You can mitigate risk by using your cellular data only, or doing all your online shopping at home.
5. Make sure your software up to date
Be sure to update your operating system and malware service. Older versions of software often contain bugs and vulnerabilities that can easily be exploited by cyber criminals that know what they’re doing.
Use these tips to mitigate your online risk of cyber attacks.
Have a happy and safe holiday!