Online shopping has steadily become more and more popular, especially since the start of the pandemic called for extra time at home and far less time spent shopping in actual brick-and-mortar stores. Even though we continue to return to normalcy, shopping online this holiday season is projected to be more popular than ever before. Holiday shopping online is perfectly safe IF you know how to be cyber-savvy and keep your personal information secure while doing so. Remember, cybersecurity awareness and your online safety is paramount as hackers ramp up their scams and plots for online fraud in the hopes of scoring more than just a good deal this holiday season.

Juern Technology wants to ensure that everyone stays safe and takes on their holiday shopping with constant vigilance. So, if you plan to online shop for the holidays, here are 6 tips to keep your personal information and your hard-earned money where it should be—with YOU!

6 Simple Cybersecurity Tips For Online Shoppers:

  1. Use Well-Known And Secure Sites. If a site’s address doesn’t start with “https” instead of “http” OR if it does not have the little lock symbol next to the address, DO NOT shop there! This means your connection is not secure which means your payment information is not secure either. Also, it is very easy to make a website look like a legitimate ecommerce site. If the ecommerce website is not familiar to you, don’t take a chance. It could be a fake website run by cybercriminals, preying on unsuspecting holiday shoppers, taking their money, and sending them NOTHING in return!
  2. Create Strong Passwords. Strengthening your passwords is a great way to stump hackers. The most effective passwords have 10 or more characters and contain a good mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, non-sequential numbers, and symbols (like ! or &). Make sure EVERY one of your passwords is unique and NEVER reuse one. We know you have a lot of passwords to remember so we recommend using a password manager (like LastPass) to remember them for you. Related: Passwords: You’re Doing It Wrong.
  3. Keep Track Of Your Financial Statements. Should something end up happening while shopping online, you need to know ASAP. Constantly check bank accounts and financial statements for suspicious activity that could indicate stolen payment information. It is also a good idea to set up fraud alerts on your accounts as well as check regularly with the three credit bureaus to keep an eye out for (God forbid) identity theft.
  4. Protect Your Information. Be very selective when it comes to divulging your personal information while shopping online. Only provide the bare minimum necessary on safe, secure, and well-known sites and NEVER provide your social security number. That should never be required when shopping online and if you’re shopping on a site that is requesting it, DO NOT complete you purchase. In this instance, you might as well be handing over your precious social security number (with a big, red bow on top) right to the hacker.
  5. Don’t Shop On Public WiFi. When shopping online using public WiFi, a scammer can easily intercept your personal and payment information without you ever knowing it. It is better to be safe than sorry so use a VPN when shopping online, banking online, or when doing anything that requires login information. Also, it is best not to shop online while you are at work. You would not want to accidently allow a data breach should you decide to access unsecured ecommerce websites, so it is best to leave the personal shopping to be done on your personal devices on your personal internet connection. Related: What Every Business Owner Must Know About Remote Access Security
  6. Beware Of Amazing Deals. Always err on the side of caution--if a deal seems too good to be true, it most likely is! We love a good deal too but trust us when we say that absolutely no website will sell the newest version of Apple Air Pods for $40. That’s why we must advise you to ALWAYS scrutinize every website heavily before you buy from it and not to lose sight of the online shopping dangers too-good-to-be-true deals indicate. Don’t let these sneaky scammers cheat you out of any money OR personal information. You work too hard to throw any amount of that hard-earned money away on fake merchandise from a sham site.

A Couple of Online Shopping Facts:

  • "Consumers reported losing more than $3.3 billion to fraud in 2020, up from $1.8 billion in 2019. Nearly $1.2 billion of losses reported last year were due to imposter scams, while online shopping accounted for about $246 million in reported losses from consumers." – FTC
  • "In 2020, more than 2 billion people bought products or services online"

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

—Benjamin Franklin

 

Shopping online can be safe, reliable, and a huge time-saver – as long as you take the proper precautions! Ensure that you are following the right security measures before making a purchase or entering any personal information this holiday season. If you follow the above tips and use your best judgement when selecting websites to purchase from, your chances of becoming a victim of cybercrime will be significantly lowered and you can happily purchase gifts for your friends and family (or for yourself, we won’t judge!) from the comfort of your couch without fear of those grinchy hackers!

Could Your Business’ Credentials Be Found On The Dark Web?

Worried your company information may already be stolen and for sale on the dark web due to employees shopping online at work? If you’re a business owner in San Antonio or Austin with 30 computers or more, find out FOR SURE whether any company information has already been stolen. Give us a call at (210) 245-6900 or click here https://www.juerntech.com/dark-web-scan/ to request a FREE, no-obligation Dark Web Scan for your business today!