Tis the season for online shopping! With Covid 19 cases increasing and temperatures decreasing, online shopping is trending more than ever. While there will never be a 100% secure online shopping experience, there are steps you can take to prevent major losses. We’d like to share 5 steps you can take to decrease your chances of having your money or information stolen.

  1. Do not reuse passwords across multiple sites and services. Websites get hacked all the time and once your credentials are leaked criminals will enter those same credentials into multiple sites. You could be giving away access to your banking information, retailers, health information, etc. Always use unique passwords for each online account you have.

2. Whether you’re shopping online or you are sent an online shopping receipt, use a direct path to the preferred retailer’s website. Links on websites and in emails can be spoofed, making you think you’re clicking through to the intended site. Instead, go directly to the retailer’s website or use bookmarks to ensure you’re going right back to where you want to be. All too often, scammers will trick users into clicking links in emails to check tracking on an order that may or may not have been placed by the consumer. If the user would’ve gone directly to the retailer’s site they could’ve avoided having malware placed on their computer.

3. Spot the scam. A product or service may look good on the site, but how do you know it’s legitimate before you buy? Consumer watchdogs like the Better Business Bureau can help you check if a business is legitimate — before you give them your credit card number.

4. Look for the s. These days, a legitimate shopping site should be using HTTPS rather than HTTP. (The S stands for “secure.”) Look in the upper corner of the screen for the HTTPS and the lock icon.

5. Use privacy.com to generate one-time card numbers for each online account. You can set spending limits, manage who is able to charge the card, and close the card at any time. This is especially helpful during the holidays as cyber crime and credit card fraud skyrocket around that time. If, by chance, a retailer that you’ve used this card on gets breached, the scammer can’t use this card anywhere else AND the only retailer you have to call to give a new card number to is that particular one.

If you or your organization makes regular online shopping purchases, consider using a different password for each retailer. Using a password manager will help keep up with those passwords. We also recommend Privacy.com cards and training your employees on what to look for in online shipping receipts/tracking scams. Don’t have time to train your employees on their role in your organization’s cyber security strategy? Our security awareness training covers detecting/preventing this trending phishing attack, as well as many others.

Categories: security

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