On a day to day basis, shopping has often become more convenient to do online. That is never more true than during the holiday season, when both schedules and stores are packed. But like most good things, the ease of online shopping comes with some additional cybersecurity risks that you should be aware of. Below, we’ve outlined the fundamentals of staying Safe While Shopping Online.
Online shoppers are often top targets for cybercriminals – especially during the holidays. In fact, according to a recent survey from Experian, 43% of identity theft victims reported that the theft happened while they were holiday shopping online.
With this in mind, consider these tips to stay safe and secure while online shopping this holiday season:
1. Protect your devices.
Keep your devices secure by conducting regular software updates, utilizing proper privacy settings, creating complex passwords and implementing multi-factor authentication (if possible).
2. Protect your devices.
Avoid online shopping while connected to a public WiFi network, as this will make it easier for cybercriminals to access your device. Stick to a private, protected network.
3. Shop Smart.
Only buy from trusted sources. Always check a vendor’s reviews to ensure they are reputable, and confirm that their website is legitimate and encrypted before shopping.
4. Be wary of scams.
If you receive emails from unknown senders or digital advertisements offering holiday deals that seem too good to be true, these could be scams. Never respond to suspicious emails or click on links or attachments from unknown sources.
5. Use a Credit Card.
Consider using a credit card instead of a debit card for online purchases, as the latter could give cybercriminals access to the entirety of your checking account funds rather than just your available credit.
6. Check Your Statements.
Especially during the holidays, keep an eye on your bank statements to detect potentially fraudulent activity as quickly as possible.