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7 Tips to Avoid Cyber Criminals on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is like Christmas for cyber criminals. According to an October 2019 TransUnion survey, nearly half of consumers are worried about becoming a victim of fraud this holiday. Load up your cyber shopping cart, but beware of hackers unloading your payment details. Retailers and eCommerce giants like Amazon take precautions against hackers and you can too! Check out our Cyber Monday security tips to avoid cyber criminals this holiday season.

White background with hand grabbing a red gift bag with cyber monday security tips

1. Beware of Emails

Hackers send “phishing emails” masked as a store discount or sale code that  that lead to a scam portal asking for your information. Instead of clicking the email, go directly to the store’s site to find sale details.

2. Use a Secure WiFi network

The safest option is to shop from home with the comfort of your own private Wifi. You take a huge risk by using public WiFi to shop because hackers can break into your device and see your credit card details. If there’s a deal you just can’t pass up, use your cellular data or wireless hot spot while shopping.

3. Visit HTTPS Only

It’s important to notice whether the site’s web address starts with HTTP or HTTPS (Hyper Test Transfer Protocol Secure.) You want the HTTPS connection because communications are securely encrypted. Information sent over HTTP can be read by any hacker.

4. Keep Your Information Close

If an E-commerce site asks you to create an account before checking out, only provide the bare minimum details.

Woman with a gift card in one hand and a present in the other wearing a Santa hat shopping online

5. Use Third Party Payment Sites

Hackers use “card skimming,” where they install malicious software on a retailer’s website. This software gathers your credit card data and sends it to hackers. To avoid this, use a third party site such as PayPal, Venmo, or Amazon so they never have your actually credit card number.

6. Keep An Eye on Your Accounts

Cyber criminals will use bot technology to make small purchases with your debit/credit cards before making a large purchase. Keep an eye out on your account activity so you can catch these transactions

7. Change Your Passwords Regularly

When you make purchases across multiple retailer sites this leaves your information open to sneaky hackers. To safeguard against account hacking, update your passwords regularly and use a different one for each site.

8. Avoid Gift Card Scams

Be careful when using gift card exchange websites. Some exchange sites allow people to send the gift card code and be paid before the site receives the physical card in the mail. Once the balance is confirmed, scammers will spend the gift card balance before the buyer receives the card or code. Use a site like that has a money-back guarantee.

According to the October 2019 TransUnion survey, 75% of consumers plan on completing 50% or more of their holiday shopping online. Don’t be a victim to a cyber criminal, use these Cyber Monday security tips to avoid holiday scams.

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