Once again, Cyber Monday is expected to be the largest online shopping day this year, and the largest in history, with a projected $6.6 billion in sales, up 16.5 percent from last year, according to Adobe Analytics.This major online shopping day has gone mobile as well, with about half of online shoppers expected to make holiday purchases from their smartphones or tablets.
Of course, as the popularity of Cyber Monday grows and the deals get bigger and better, the risks of shopping online also increase. Cybercriminals love Cyber Monday too, and work hard to get rich off the huge number of people engaging in online commerce around the holidays.
Shop from a secure computer
A computer or Android phone that isn't protected by antivirus software is more likely to be compromised by malware. Otherwise, all data entered into or transmitted from that phone or computer is at risk. Be sure to keep the operating system and all internet-facing apps updated to the latest software versions.
Shop using a secure connection
Data can be at risk during transit if an attacker controls the network or uses packet-sniffing software. Web protocols such as HTTPS encrypt communications, so always look for the HTTPS lock symbol in your browser address window when performing an online purchase.
Search for deals on retailer sites, not on search engines.
Scammers "poison" search results with malicious or deceptive links. Want that latest game console? Run a search on the Best Buy, Amazon or GameStop sites rather than on Google.
Too good to be true usually is exactly that
Cyber Monday features a lot of incredible, legitimate deals offered by trusted mainstream retailers. But cybercriminals will prey on shoppers' desire for the lowest prices and will try to slip in a lot of fake deals. Watch out especially for emails, text messages, pop-up browser windows and Facebook and Twitter posts promising fantastic savings.
Review credit-card and bank statements regularly
Malware can infect credit-card readers in stores, and unscrupulous cashiers often steal card numbers as well. If you find a transaction that doesn't match your purchases, your account may have been compromised. If so, contact your bank or card issuer.
Don't use debit cards online
You've got far less protection against fraud on a debit card than you do with a credit card. Stick to credit cards when shopping online. If you absolutely must use a debit card, use the prepaid kind with a set spending limit.
Use two-factor authentication
Turning on two-factor authentication for email and other mobile accounts, including social media, can add an extra barrier of protection to prevent password theft, Robb Reck, chief information security officer of the identity security company Ping Identity.
“While you may think of your financial accounts as the highest risk, it’s actually your email account that allows hackers to go through and reset all your passwords on those other sites,” he said.
Sign Up for Transaction Monitoring Alerts
Consumers can also take extra caution by signing up for transaction monitoring alerts from their banks and credit unions to immediately notify them when their credit or debit cards have been used. With transaction alerts, consumers can immediately dispute charges they didn't make.
Dean and Draper
We hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, your Black Friday shopping exciting, and that Cyber Monday will be a worry-free shopping time for you. When you have questions about your insurance, need advice on making the right decisions, or simply want to chat, please call us.
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©2017 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights ReservedResources: Tom's Guide, NBC News