As the holidays are quickly approaching, many will take to the internet to purchase gifts for their loved ones this year. Despite being in the midst of a global recession, companies will be trying to make up a decline in sales with clever advertisements and coupons in your e-mail inbox. What you should know is that online shopping, especially during this time when deals and discounts are aplenty, can still be risky when proper precautions are not taken.
Promotions for that new Apple Watch, Nintendo Switch, and Smart Home system will be at the forefront of Black Friday deals, but holiday shopping scams may be interspersed among that $200 Smart TV discount. Listed below are some ways you can keep an eye out for cyber attacks and take a hold of your personal information:
- Free Bank Alerts: An increasing amount of credit card companies now offer free text alerts. When your card is used you’ll be notified via smartphone, so any erroneous or suspicious purchases will be sent directly to you. It makes it easier to spot a compromised card or fishy transaction.
- Utilize MFA & 2FA to Your Advantage: Staying on top of two-factor authentication (2FA) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) will help keep your account secure. Try to use passwords and services that offer biometric authentication (like finger prints or face ID) to keep your security strong. To check if your account has been compromised, you can go to Have I Been Pwned which will allow you to check if your sensitive information has been leaked in a data breach.
- Update Your Device & Stay On Reliable Networks: Keeping your phone and computer’s software up-to-date and making sure you’re on reliable Wi-Fi networks will reduce the threat of unwanted bugs and programs gaining access to your accounts.
- Research & Assess Email Links Before You Click: If a deal seems too good to be true, it very likely is. Bad actors are very good at creating lookalike websites, but you can spot the differences if you’re paying attention. Websites that start with http are not encrypted, always use websites that start with https. Double check that any phone number listed on an advertisement are consistent with the official website (Google is your friend here!)
All in all, Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals may be tempting, but cyber threats are lurking everywhere, especially when people are so captivated by getting a deal on the latest and greatest thing. Maintaining cybersecurity best practices will keep you, and your credit card, safe from harm this holiday season.
If you’re looking to get more information about Managed Security Services, check out our sheet below. To contact SkyPort IT today, call 585-582-1600 or visit our contact page.
Who’s Got Your Data?
Written by Emily M.