Stay Safe on Cyber Monday

  • Nov 7, 2016
  • Stop.Think.Connect Campaign
Image Stay Safe on Cyber Monday

Too tired or full of turkey to go shopping at 5:00 AM on Black Friday? Thankfully, Cyber Monday has become an internationally known day for holiday shopping online. Most major retailers have embraced Cyber Monday and are offering great deals for people who would rather do their holiday shopping from the comfort of their homes.

To keep yourself safe, apply these everyday cybersecurity tips when shopping online:

 

  • Keep a clean machine. Make sure your software, operating system, and antivirus programs are all updated. This will help your computer fight against viruses and malware that can be sent through emails, links, and websites. 
  • Connect with care. Try not to do any online shopping on unsecure wireless networks, such as places with public and free Wi-Fi. Do your online shopping at home, and make sure your home wireless network is password protected.
  • Be cautious online. Do not click on suspicious links or download items from unknown sources. Do not click on links from pop-up ads. Do not follow unsolicited web links in email and pop-up ads.
  • Pay attention to website URLs. Malicious websites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the URL may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (for example, the malicious site may use .net instead of .com). Also look in the address box for https:// before any transaction. Unlike http:// URLs, https:// tells you that the site is taking extra measures to secure your information.
  • Set strong passwords. Especially for sensitive online accounts (such as online banking), make sure your passwords are complex and unique to each account. Change your password often, and do not set passwords that will be easy for cyber criminals to guess. A good rule of thumb is to create passwords with eight characters or more that use a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols.
  • Don’t believe everything you see. While many retailers are offering great deals on Cyber Monday, there will also be deals that are just too good to be true. So before you buy that new iPad for only $50, be sure to shop only on the websites of trusted, major retailers, and avoid shopping through pop-up ads or suspicious websites.
  • Use a credit card. There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent card charges. You may not have the same level of protection when using a debit card. 
  • Keep a record of your order. Retain all documentation from the order in case your purchase does not ship or if there are unauthorized charges on your bill.
  • Check your statements. Check your purchase records against your credit card and bank statements. If there are differences, report them immediately.

With the increasing threat of cyber scams and other online shopping fraud, it’s important for everyone to practice safe online behavior on Cyber Monday, throughout the holidays, and every day.