We have Black Friday coming at the end of this week, and Cyber Monday next week. A lot of money will be changing hands between now and Christmas. We want to make sure that you are not a victim of some cyber-criminal’s Merry Christmas purchases with your money. A safe and secure shopping experience both online and in person can be yours if you follow some simple tips:
- Make sure your computer is malware free. If the bad guys are already on board, they can use the information they get from your shopping activities to do a little holiday spending of their own, with your money.
- Never use public computers or public Wi-Fi systems when shopping online.
- Shop only at HTTPS web sites.
- Use credit cards instead of debit or bank ATM cards. Your losses from credit card fraud are zero, but with a debit or ATM card any losses to fraudulent use are your problem.
- Beware of the potentials for card “skimmers” at ATMs and other card scanners.
- Set up transaction notifications with your bank and credit card companies, so you will know when your cards are being used.
- Never click on links or open attachments in emails, and watch for fraudulent browser pop-up windows.
- Make sure your passwords are longer than 12 characters and difficult to guess.
- Set up and use two-factor authentication on financial, email, and shopping accounts. That way a lost or stolen password will not be enough for a cyber criminal to use your account.
- Beware of deals that are “too good to be true.” Often these ads link to malicious sites.
About the Author:I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com