In unprecedented times, it’s expected that many of us will be trading in our 5am Black Friday store rush traditions for a reserved seat in front a computer. With an expected surge in online shopping, we should also anticipate a surge in cybercrime. Here are some easy tips to follow to make sure you are shopping cyber smart this holiday season.

Online Shopping Tips:

  • Think before you click: Beware of ads encouraging users to click on links. If you receive an enticing offer, do not click on the link. Instead, go directly to the company’s website to verify the offer is legitimate.
  • Do your homework: Fraudsters are fond of setting up fake e-commerce sites. Before entering any credit card information, read reviews to hear what others say about the merchant. In addition, look for a physical location and any customer service information. It’s also a good idea to call the merchant to confirm that they are legitimate.
  • Never store payment information: You should not save your payment information in any online store profiles. If your payment information is saved and that site is victim to a cyber breach, your information is at risk.
  • Keep tabs on your bank and credit card statements: Be sure to continuously check your accounts for any unauthorized activity. Good recordkeeping goes hand-in-hand with managing your cybersecurity.
  • Keep a clean machine: Keep a clean machine. Be sure that all internet-connected devices ‒ including PCs, smartphones and tablets ‒ are free from malware and infections by running only the most current versions of software and apps.
  • Lock Down Your Login: Create long and unique passphrases for all accounts and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible. Never use work related credentials for anything other than work.
  • Use a secure Wi-Fi: Using public Wi-Fi to shop online while at your favorite coffee shop is tremendously convenient, but it is not cyber safe. Don’t make purchases via public Wi-Fi; instead use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or your phone as a hotspot.