According to Fortune, Cyber Monday 2016 broke a new record with $3.45 billion in consumer sales. Making Cyber Monday 2016 a historic day for United States e-commerce. But along with online record-breaking days, comes a few hiccups in the world of cybersecurity.
What do cyber criminals and the Grinch have in common? When it comes to the holiday season, both bad guys are out to ruin your holiday cheer! Cyber Monday is the biggest day for online shopping in the United States. Are you keeping yourself safe from the Cyber Grinch trying to ruin your holiday shopping?
From 2014 to 2016, there has been a 34% increase in Cyber Monday fraud. Going to show that there really are Cyber Grinches out there, and they are prepared to prey on consumers during the most wonderful time of the year!
In case you are part of the estimated 69% U.S. citizens that take advantage of those Thanksgiving holiday deals, here are a few tips to keep your data safe from the Cyber Grinch:
- Use a secure connection- When shopping, avoid making your purchases through a public Wi-Fi network. While it may sound nice and convenient, Cyber Grinches can easily hack into a wireless network and access user details.
- Use your credit card over debit card- Your debit card is directly linked to your bank account, thus exposing your available funds. By shopping online using your credit card there is an added sense of security knowing that you are using borrowed money. If something about an online purchase seems odd, contact your credit card provider and they can dispute the charges.
- Don’t save your information- If you happen to frequently shop on a specific website, chances are you’ve been tempted to save your credit card information. It sounds easier than getting out your wallet each time to type in your information, but it isn’t always the safest. By taking the extra time to enter your information, you have a better chance of keeping your information out of the hands of a Cyber Grinch!
- Change your passwords frequently- While this is a good thing to practice year-round, be sure you pick up this habit when doing frequent online purchases. Changing your passwords often is important, but so is making sure you have strong passwords too!
- Make sure your antivirus is up-to-date- This is also something you should be doing year-round, but before making online purchases be sure that your antivirus software is updated. In the end, this is an added measure to keep your data safe.
Being a smart shopper is important around the holiday season, but it is really important all year long. Stay up-to-date on the latest shopping scams and be sure to practice those tips above to be a critical consumer all year long. After, all those Cyber Grinches (Cyber Criminals) are lurking 365 days per year.
By following these tips and staying ahead of these tactics, you can do your part in ensuring that the Cyber Grinch doesn’t steal your holiday cheer! SumnerOne wishes the best with your Cyber Monday endeavors!
Originally published November 20, 2017, updated April 23, 2018