A recent survey from location data technology firm Blis found that 57.7 percent of shoppers said they plan to do the most of their holiday shopping online while 37.3 percent said they will shop more online than they did last year.
In additin, Adobe Digital Insights 2017 records show 56 percent of shoppers will use their mobile devices to make purchases.
While this is good news for eCommerce stores, it also means you need to be extra cautious when giving out sensitive information online.
To help keep you safe this holiday season here are some cybersecurity tips to use for online shopping.
Be Aware While Using Public WiFi
Do not conduct sensitive activities such as online shopping, using a public wireless network as they pose a major security alert. Free WiFi networks are a hacker’s paradise owing to a lack of proactive security.
Use Only Secure Websites
Black Friday and its online equivalent, Cyber Monday, have prompted more shoppers to make purchases on the internet. When shopping, only visit secured sites and look for the little icon of a padlock next to the webpage’s URL to indicate that the site is safe to use.
Avoid Deals That Seem Too Good to Be True
Although you may be shopping for deals, there are some discounts or promotions that might be a scam in disguise. If you get an email from an unknown sender advertising cheap or free electronics, travel tickets or other merchandise, be on the look out for signs of a scam. Schemers may ask you for your personal information or credit card details to get the deal, but avoid clicking on any links that request this information.
Use Unique Passwords
Ensure that you use different passwords for different websites and mobile apps. Make use of passwords that are complex and unique in nature.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication When Possible
Relying on more than a password to secure online accounts is important because passwords are relatively easy to steal or compromise. Passwords can be vulnerable to eavesdroppers on cafe and airplane wifi, to tech company data breaches and to phishing attacks. Add in a second factor, though, and an attacker needs more than just your password to access your accounts.
Think Before You Click
Use caution while clicking on any unknown links. Delete emails that seem suspicious or are from unknown sources. Scammers would make use of your email address to send shopping deals or discount coupons that look genuine in nature.
Limit The Information You Post Online
When you create a new account on any app or website, ensure that you just provide the basic information required to get your account active. There is no need for you to answer security or privacy questions while making a purchase or checking out on the app or website.
Review Apps Before Downloading
Always make a point to download mobile apps from the official app stores or the official website of the e-commerce retailer. Be aware of what information or app permissions are being asked before you click on the download button. Avoid downloading apps from third-party play stores as threat actors make use of the festive season to create fraudulent apps that look as if they are associated with the real brand.
Monitor Your Credit Card and Bank Statements
Cybercriminals might take advantage of the fact that you may be too busy with shopping and visiting family this Black Friday to actively monitor your financial accounts. While you may be occupied, continue to look at your statements for any suspicious activity.
Use A Credit Card Instead Of Debit
While you could choose cash to avoid having your information processed at point of sale (POS) systems, your next best bet is a credit card. Credit card companies often will not hold you liable for fraudulent purchases. In the event someone does get your card without permission, consumers also are liable for less money with a credit card than a debit card.