Cybersecurity Tips & Tricks

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How to Holiday Shop Online Securely

Holidays can be very stressful, especially when it comes to shopping for loved ones. In order to make this process a little easier, many turn to online shopping especially during special events like Cyber Monday. However, even though online shopping can make finding the perfect gift a breeze, it’s still good to keep a few tips in mind to make sure you stay secure. Here are a few tips from the Cyber Security Consultants to help keep you safe online this holiday season.

  • Beware of holiday scam emails. During this time of year, criminals will often use coupons, deals, or just general holiday cheer (IE: You’ve received a Virtual Christmas Card) in order to trick you into clicking dangerous links. Never click on a link or respond to an email unless you are especially sure where it came from.
  • When setting up online accounts at shopping sites, be sure to use a different password each time. The more places you use the same password the more likely it is to be stolen. A password stolen from a shopping site could be used to gain access to your email or social media accounts if you use the same one every time.
  • Be aware of where you are buying from. Just because an ad shows up on Facebook or Instagram, does not mean the company is legitimate. Always do a quick Google search before deciding to purchase from an unknown website or company.
  • Watch out for knockoff or fake products, especially when it comes to electronics. Many places around the world specialize in knockoff electronics and it can be easy to be duped.
  • While shopping at sites like Amazon can help keep you safe, make sure you are buying from a verified seller. Sellers are often allowed to sell directly off of sites like Amazon which can sometimes lead to poor-quality or knockoff products being sold.
  • Instead of using a debit card for purchases, try using a third-party service like Paypal or Apple Pay or a credit card. These types of payments often have much better fraud and credit monitoring services then debit cards. This is especially true when buying homemade items like those found on Etsy since you’ll have some recourse should the product never show up.
  • Try to stagger your holiday purchases. While it can be quite satisfying to check off your list all at once, a large pile of boxes on your front porch can be an enticing target to package thieves.

Hopefully, these tips will help keep your holiday merry and full of joy. Just remember to always think before you click and you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect holiday gifts.

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