More than 60% of retailers experience an increase in cyber-crime on Cyber Monday. Malicious social media skyrockets around the holidays. Phishing campaigns TRIPLE around Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means Cyber Monday (and Black Friday) is coming up next. As online shopping becomes more popular and increasingly accessible, it’s important to educate yourself on best practices. A recent survey showed that Cyber Monday shoppers are expected to exceed Black Friday shoppers 51% to 38%, respectively. 5thColumn has put together a list of best practices to help keep your information safe.
MINIMIZE USE OF PUBLIC Wi-Fi.
Keep in mind that anything you do on a public network can be seen if threat actors have the right tools. If you have to use public Wi-Fi, keep the use minimal and very basic.
IF YOU HAVE TO CREATE A PASSWORD, MAKE IT STRONG.
Some public Wi-Fi networks will ask you to create a user ID and password before you can get online. Your best bet is to not use a password you use have for anything else. If possible, use a password generated by your computer. It will only be used for that and never generated the same again.
CHECK FOR HTTPS.
HTTPS = encrypted data. Don’t get distracted by the deals and offers. Be sure to only shop on websites starting with ‘HTTPS.’ It means the company you’re shopping with is taking extra steps to ensure that your data is even more secure.
VALIDATE EMAIL DEALS
We will all be recipients of the “best black Friday deals” email but before click on the links for the $250 60” 4K TV ensure you are not being redirected to a phishing website where your credentials, personal identity and credit card may become compromised.
CHECK WEBSITE SECURITY
From time to time ecommerce/online shopping sites get compromised. When this happens the credentials, credit cards and personal information can become compromised also. It is advised to validate the security of the site prior providing any information through tools such as https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/ or https://global.sitesafety.trendmicro.com/
CONFIRM THE SECURITY OF YOUR CARD
Some banks have great policies to reimburse you if there are unauthorized charges on your card. Others make it complicated and difficult to get those charges reversed, or can take a long time to get your money back. Credit cards often have better policies than debit cards.
MONITOR YOUR ACCOUNT
Keep an eye on your account even closer than you usually do. Threat actors often try to use stolen credit card numbers to purchase several small items, thinking that they’ll be able to fly under the radar. These can add up quickly.
DON’T FALL FOR SCAMS
Do not shop from untrusted sources. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
When in doubt, refer to our Public Wi-Fi best practices.