3 Cybersecurity Tips for Cyber Monday
Experts are anticipating this holiday season will be the largest online shopping affair yet, with Cyber Monday being the pinnacle of its success. They estimate Cyber Monday, November 28, will be the largest online shopping day in history.
While you may be excited to see the emails roll into your inbox showing deals of 30, 40, and 50 percent off, you should be weary that cyber criminals are out there and will take advantage of the surplus in your inbox and your excitement to buy something for the “lowest price ever.”
Here are a few tips to ensure you’re staying secure on Cyber Monday.
A lot of promo emails these days are bright pictures depicting giant sales and low prices. By clicking on one of these pictures, you are taken directly to the sale on the website. To make sure that you aren’t being taken to a fake website, hover your cursor over the photo and the link will appear. Study the hyperlink to make sure the website the promo is taking you to is legitimate.
Even if the link does look as if it is right, always keep in mind, “If it is too good to be true, it probably is.” If something looks fishy, or your favorite store is selling a product for 90 percent off, type in the website that you know is the right one and find the product on your own to confirm the price. The extra bit of work may save you from a cybersecurity nightmare.
If you are shopping on sites like eBay or Amazon where there are multiple sellers, be sure to read the reviews. These show insights into how transactions are handled with this user. Sometimes you’ll find someone cheering about their wonderful product, but other times several people may be talking about how the seller is a scam.
Be sure to scroll through several reviews, as sometimes the amount of stars a seller has does not directly reflect the way they conduct business. Many Amazon stores have been caught buying positive reviews, boosting their overall statistics and hiding the fact they might just be out to steal your money.
In addition to eBay or Amazon, if you happen across a website you’ve never heard of before that is offering too good to be true prices, type the website into Google and see what others are saying about it. There are plenty of consumer sites where users go to review their experiences with certain websites. There, you can learn if the product is worth your money.
When you set yourself up to shop on Cyber Monday, be sure you are using a secure WiFi network. If the one you use at your home or office is password protected, you should be fine. Beware of the public WiFi networks at coffee shops or restaurants.
Be sure that the network you are connecting to is the actual network for the establishment. Ask an employee what the name of the network is to be sure you are connecting to a secure network and not a malicious one.
In conjunction to these tips, being smart and aware online will save you a lot from many cyber headaches this holiday season. Happy shopping!