Nov 18, 2021
Tis the season for online shopping and unfortunately, cybercrime. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge shopping days for online purchases. With increased online sales comes an increased risk of cyberattacks. Cybercriminals are becoming more creative and finding new ways to target online shoppers this holiday season.
As you're starting your online shopping and checking out cyber deals, it's important to stay alert and safe online. Having awareness online can help protect your credit card and other personal information.
Blade's own Scott Schaffer recently sat down with Fox 2 News to go over some helpful holiday shopping tips.
Install & Update Antivirus Software
When a message pops up on your computer saying it's time to update your antivirus software, it can be easy to ignore that message and tell yourself you'll do it later.
Making sure your systems and software are up-to-date keeps you protected online. There are so many online stores now and antivirus software can prevent spammy sites from harming your computer.
Cybercriminals are turning to email, text messages, phone calls, and voicemails to try and get personal information. If you receive an email saying your delivery is on the way, but you know you didn't order anything, don't click on links or give out any financial information. If you receive a text message or voicemail saying you won an online shopping spree, it's best to ignore those.
Stay alert of anything you receive that looks suspicious or is asking you for very specific information. An online transaction never involves your social security number. If you think something might be from a company that you did order from, contact the customer service team just to be safe.
Do Your Homework on Unfamiliar Retailers
Like we mentioned before, the number of online stores is almost endless now. If you're ordering from a site but it's hard to find clear information about where they're located, what their return policy is, or their shipping times, it might not be a legitimate store.
That must have item at a great price advertised through a Facebook ad may be from outside the United States, and may not be legitimate. Search for reviews of people that have purchased from this store before to help you with your decision. Another option is to find the same item on a more trustworthy site.
Check Website Security
Making a purchase from a secure site is extremely important as you're holiday online shopping. Double-check that the website URL has "HTTPS" in front of the address rather than just "HTTP." HTTPS is encrypted and more secure for users.
Also double-check that you see the padlock symbol in front of the website URL in whatever internet browser you're using. Similar to HTTPS, the padlock symbol ensures that your connection is secure. The padlock means that your personal information like passwords and credit card numbers are private when sent to the site.
Double-checking website security is a simple step that helps with identity theft protection and gives you peace of mind as you shop online.
Use a Credit Card
When online shopping, making a purchase with your credit card is often safer than using your debit card. Depending on your bank, your credit card might have more security options and be more protected than your debit card. If your credit card number were to be stolen and purchases are made, it's typically easier to resolve those purchases with your bank rather than if your debit card were stolen.
As you are online shopping, keep an eye on all of your bank statements so you can catch any unknown purchases right away.
Similar to staying alert, if something looks suspicious, it's best to ignore it and not click on links or respond to anything asking for personal information. Be wary of online stores with sales that are too good to be true and don't offer much information about their policies. Be skeptical of emails or text messages asking you to confirm your purchases with your credit card number.
Use strong passwords, keep track of your purchases, purchase only from online stores you trust, and keep your software up-to-date. By keeping these tips in mind, you'll stay safe and merry this holiday season!
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Blade Technologies in St. Louis is proud and honored to be a regular contributor to Fox2Now's Tech Talk series. For the latest information on what's new in tech and how to keep you and your devices safe, check out more of the Tech Talk series. You can also learn more about Blade’s cybersecurity services in St. Louis or get in touch with our team.
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