Year after year, Cyber Monday becomes more and more popular thanks to increasingly great deals from online retailers. In fact, an estimated 52% of Americans bought something online on Cyber Monday in 2014!
With what is set to be another epic day of deals on the horizon, we here at Columbia Bank have put together some tips on keeping your information safe when doing your holiday shopping online.
Double check links in emails Phishing scams work by tricking the victim into entering their sensitive information into a website that looks almost exactly like a legitimate retailer’s. This time of the year, scammers will bombard email inboxes with newsletters hoping to catch consumers looking for a great deal.
Make sure to pay close attention to who is actually sending the ad and make sure to verify that any links you click on actually go to secure websites. The URL should include “https” and not just the standard “http”. While this may seem like a minor difference, the “S” ensures that all data being sent is being transmitted securely.
Update all browsers/antivirus software Another easy way to keep your financial information secure is by ensuring that your Internet browser and antivirus software is completely up to date. Make sure to regularly check for updates and to restart your computer immediately after installation.
These updates usually address the latest techniques and exploits used by cyber criminals and will help keep your computer safe in the long run. Viruses such as Trojan horses and keyloggers infect your computer and can lie in wait until they get ahold of valuable passwords or banking information.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi while shopping Shopping on the go is a popular trend right now, with 41.2% of all Cyber Monday 2014 traffic coming from mobile devices. While the convenience may be appealing to the average consumer, using a public coffee shop’s wireless Internet is highly discouraged.
A lot of the time these connections are open to the public and have little in the way of security, making them a popular target for unsavory characters. Never provide your credit card information over an unprotected WiFi connection and make sure your home connection is password protected.
Be weary of deals that are too good to be true. Some deals this Cyber Monday will seem too good to be true, and that’s for a reason! A lot of the aforementioned fake sites will try their hardest to catch your eye with huge savings that are incredibly tempting. Just remember that a $10 iPad probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon and providing your credit card information to any site claiming otherwise will definitely result in unnecessary headaches.
Great deals while shopping for holiday gifts is always a bonus and by following these helpful tips you won’t have to sacrifice safety for savings this Cyber Monday!
Learn more about stopping online fraud, phishing, and identify theft here.
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