Safely Shop Cyber Shelves

Can you say that five times fast?

It’s easy to trip over a tongue twister, but don’t let holiday cyber schemes trip you up this year. The upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping days are prime opportunities for hackers, cyber criminals and other bad actors to take advantage of shoppers looking for great deals.

Save yourself some money and heartache by keeping the following in mind:

  1. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi – It’s easy for criminals to create fake Wi-Fi hotspots that look legitimate. While you’re using what appears to be safe, public Wi-Fi to shop for sales, criminals may be intercepting your information to use on their own shopping spree or to sell on the black market.
  2. Too Good To Be True – If a sale sounds too good to be true, it might be. Avoid clicking on links for deals such as heavily discounted gift cards, brand name products for cheap and limited-time offers. Criminals draw victims in by offering extremely low prices with a short availability.
  3. Third-Party Retailers – Help ensure cyber safety by shopping on a business’s verified Web page. Although you may find deals from third-party vendors, you’re also more likely to find yourself with a computer virus or other malicious computer software.
  4. Say Goodbye to Surveys – It’s common for websites to ask for your email address to give an extra percentage off on your first purchase. However, be cautious of unprompted surveys asking for your personal information, such as social security number, address, family information, etc. This same information is often used to verify accounts when you forget your password. Fraudulent surveys are a phishing technique scammers use to collect your personal information.

The holiday season shows an uptick in criminal activity. Stay safe online by following your bank’s protocol for computer use and by using the above tips for your online cyber safety.