From children’s toys to Apple iPhones, some of the most common holiday gifts are expected to be in short supply this season. Which means cyber criminals will be hard at work on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, trying to entice desperate customers to cut corners on cyber security to buy that hard-to-get gift. Don’t do it.
Follow these tips from Norton while doing your online holiday shopping this season.
- Do your shopping with Santa-approved (in other words reputable) businesses: Better to avoid holiday shopping “deals” with companies you don’t recognize. Cyber criminals will create realistic-looking business websites to advertise hard-to-find items, stealing your financial information.
- Ho-ho-hold on before you click on a link: Rather than clicking on a link in an email or text, go directly to a retailer's website to find the hottest Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals. The same goes for promo codes offering free shipping or discounts. Don't click links to copy the code — enter it directly on the retailer's website instead.
- Look for the lock: When shopping at smaller shops or independent retailers, look for the lock icon in the top left corner of the browser bar. That indicates a secure site, which uses encryption to keep your data hidden from cyber crooks.
- Stay home for the holidays to make your online purchases: Cyber crooks can hack public Wi-Fi and steal your passwords, billing information and other data. Wait until you get home, using your private Wi-Fi, to make those purchases. Plus, always use strong passwords. Consider using a password generator.
- Santa’s always watching. You should be, too: During the holiday shopping season, make a point of checking your banking and credit card accounts on a regular basis. Visit the Federal Trade Commission for info on disputing fraudulent charges.
Take these steps to enjoy a merry and cyber-safe holiday shopping season.