Yes folks it’s that time of year again.
November brings two of the busiest shopping days of the year, plus some potential security risks, even if you never leave the comfort of your home. Because we care about protecting your budget, we also care about protecting your finances in other ways. Here’s how you can stay safe:Beware incredible deals from unknown merchants
Beware incredible deals from unknown merchants
People shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday because that’s when they can often find the best deals of the year. But these are also popular times for criminals to prey on unsuspecting shoppers. Cyberthieves cleverly take cues from the best-selling items to create fake sites or social media posts offering too-good-to-be-true deals. This is a form of phishing used in identity theft and a common way for crooks to steal your credit card number and other personal information.
Only trust secure sites
If you decide to buy online, only trust reputable sites with a secure SSL checkout. Secure site addresses start with “https” instead of “http” and often have a padlock or unbroken key icon to indicate they are protected. A Better Business Bureau logo on a “merchant’s” site isn’t always proof of a legitimate affiliation. Truly, anyone can add the BBB logo on their site. To be sure, it’s best to verify directly with the BBB. You can also conduct your own online research to see if there have been any complaints or fraud allegations against a company.
Avoid shopping via WiFi
Sure, wireless technology makes having internet access more convenient, but it also makes your information more vulnerable. Many wireless access points, like WiFi hotspots, are unsecured and provide minimal protection against hackers.
Use trusted vendors
Any website can be attacked by hackers, but limiting your shopping to established and trusted vendors limits your exposure. Bookmark the most trusted online retail sites to make sure you don’t get redirected to fakes.