Black Friday began the busiest shopping season of the year. Then comes Cyber Monday when the online deals get crazy and everyone shops on their laptop, tablet, or smart phone. This is prime time for criminals who want to hack into accounts and steal identities because more people are sharing confidential information than at other times. Plus, they are in a hurry to buy before that important item sells out so they may not pay as much attention to the rules of online shopping.
How can you prevent your shopping spree looking for the best discounts from turning into a costly excursion? By following these tips before you shop or provide any confidential information online.
Keep Your Browser Updated
Almost half of the people using the top three browsers are using an old version. This puts them in a vulnerable position for hackers. Many of the newest versions have improved security that you are missing out on if you have not upgraded.
Ignore Text Messages
If you get a random text message saying you won something, ignore it. Cybercriminals are targeting mobile devices because more people are using them for shopping and other online transactions and because they do not have a virus protection program on their smart phones and tablets. If you are one of those people, you should look into installing something to protect your device even if you haven’t had any issues with it yet.
Use strong passwords to prevent unauthorized access and only shop on reputable sites. Do not use your debit card because it provides easy access to your bank account. Instead, stick with either a credit card or PayPal or even a prepaid credit card that has a limit on how much can be stolen.
Do not download anything onto your computer or mobile device from a company that you don’t recognize. Free apps are often an entry point for criminals looking to gain access to your private information.
Buying online can be easy and convenient if you protect yourself and your information from the cybercriminals looking for unsuspecting victims.
[Image via dorset-college]