Online Holiday Shopping Cybersecurity

The holidays are just around the corner, which means many of us will be doing plenty of shopping in the coming weeks. As you search for gifts, holiday decorations, and the best deals of the season, it is often more convenient to shop online. However, while filling your online shopping cart may save you a trip to the store, it also comes with cybersecurity risks.

As cybercriminals take advantage of the holiday season, consider these tips to keep your identity and wallet secure while shopping online.

Check the website. Only buy from trusted sources and always make sure they use a secure, legitimate site. Check for reviews to make sure they are reputable. Verify the web address has a letter “s” after the “http” and that there is a closed padlock icon next to the browser address.

Use private, protected networks. Do not shop online while connected to a public Wi-Fi network, which will make it easier for cybercriminals to access your device and compromise your secure information.

Protect your devices by installing antivirus software and keeping software regularly updated. Use complex and unique passwords and multifactor authentication on accounts. Change passwords routinely.

Be on high alert for scams. If an offer seems too good to be true, it likely is. Do not click on emails from unknown senders and do not open any links or attachments.

Buy with credit cards instead of debit cards for online purchases. Debit cards could give criminals access to all of the funds in your checking account rather than just the credit available with your credit card. Do not save credit card information on any online account.

Check bank and credit card statements at least once a week and after making online purchases. By checking often, you will be able to spot any fraudulent activity quickly during a time when you may have more purchases than normal on your account.

Cybercriminals continue to evolve their sophisticated attacks. Anyone on the internet can be a target and must take the proper steps to ensure they are protected while online shopping.

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