Coronavirus has changed the way many of us are living our lives and definitely the way we are shopping. We imagine that this year will be a lot more online shopping taking place and a lot less in-person shopping.
Will you be one of the millions of Americans who shops online this holiday season? If you said, “yes” you’re not alone. More than 90% of all Americans report to shopping online. With that plethora of people shopping online, cybercriminals have stolen more than $16 billion from more than 15 million online shopping Americans. That is more than $1,000 from each shopper. Could you afford to lose $1,000? Probably not!
Online shopping has made life easier for many of us. We can get items delivered to our homes or we can shop online, pull up in front of a store and have items delivered to our cars. The convenience of online shopping cannot be denied. If you’re going to be one of the millions of American shoppers who take to the Internet this holiday season, Cyber Monday or any time of the year you need to take steps to protect yourself.
5 Black Friday Safe Online Shopping Tips
Here are our tips to shopping online safely.
- Shop from secure websites only. Don’t click a link to get to a site. Type the site name in. Check that there is an “https” in front of the URL. This means the site is encrypted and that helps assure your credit card and personal information won’t get stolen.
- Create a unique username and password for the online sites you visit. Don’t use the same username and password because if you do, and a hacker gets into one account, he or she can then get into all of your accounts. Use a password manager to make unique passwords and to store them for you.
- Get a pay-as-you-go credit card and loading it with money when you shop. If you do this, and your card gets hacked, the hacker won’t have access to any funds other than what’s on there. If they hack your debit card, they could get into your bank account and drain it.
- Don’t use public wifi to shop. Public wifi is a hacker’s dream because they can easily access your device and steal your personal and banking information. Public wifi data isn’t usually encrypted. As soon as you log in, a hacker can access your information.
- Monitor your credit card statements and banking activity. Don’t wait until your monthly statement arrives. Check proactively — every day isn’t too often. Review your statements. Question any charges you’re not aware of and call your bank. You can set up alerts on your credit cards, and some debit cards, to receive a notification if a purchase over a certain amount is made. If you do this you will be alerted if a hacker is using your card.
Be cybersmart and shop at sites you know. Beware of clicking on links in promotional emails or even through to sites on Facebook or other social media. Be safe when you shop online.
WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based complete IT consultant and solutions provider. We specialist in Data Protection, specifically Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (#BCDR). We work with medium and large law firms and in the healthcare industry. If you have IT or security questions contact Seth at WareGeeks Solutions. For information or a consultation, call (877) 653-7146, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.waregeeks.com