Secure Shopping: Protecting Yourself Online
During this season, there's a rise in impersonation scams.
Protect yourself by understanding how to recognize and steer clear of these fraudulent schemes. In impersonation scams, fraudsters manipulate individuals by posing as familiar contacts or trusted entities, aiming to extract sensitive data such as social security numbers, bank details, or credentials linked to platforms like Amazon. These scammers adapt swiftly, altering their methods regularly, making their detection a challenging task.
Only Trusted Sources
Avoid False Urgency
Never Pay Over Phone
Verify All Links
Verify Email Senders
Online shopping has revolutionized the way we shop, offering convenience and access to incredible sales. However, amidst this convenience lies the critical need for cybersecurity. When engaging in online transactions, sensitive information like credit card details and personal data are exchanged, making consumers vulnerable to cyber threats. Ensuring robust cybersecurity measures while online shopping is paramount to safeguarding oneself against potential risks such as identity theft, financial fraud, and unauthorized access to personal information. Implementing strong passwords, utilizing secure payment methods, and staying vigilant against phishing attempts are essential practices to fortify one’s digital safety while enjoying the convenience of online shopping.
By adapting to these safety suggestions, you won’t allow scammers to take the joy out of your holiday shopping!
Shop with reputable retailers
Make sure you’re on the proper website. We suggest to Bookmark your favorite shopping sites, as to avoid any typo landing you on a fraudulent site. Purchasing from an illegitimate site is unknowingly handing scammers your credit card and other personal information.
Support (real) small business!
It’s never been more important to support small and local business! However, if the business is new to you – Do your homework! Look for online reviews and search the Better Business Bureau website for complaints and check their contact information. If you’re still skeptical: call the business to verify. Why? The FBI reported scammers hijacking contact info of real U.S. businesses to make their “business” look legitimate.
Use Private WIFI or VPN
If you ever do use public Wi-Fi, protect yourself with a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the server. Cybercriminals lurking nearby won’t be able to see what you’re doing or intercept your personal information. A VPN is the only way to shop online safely from shared Wi-Fi in public spaces.
Don’t Repeat Passwords
A strong, unique password is a secure lock that protects the accounts where you store your private information. For example, should a hacker discover one password on the dark web, you wouldn’t want them logging into your bank with the same credentials. Creative and obscure passwords are the best way to protect your information. Even better, ask us about Passly, a Secure Identity & Access Management tool.
Check site security before you buy
Look for a lock icon and “https” prefacing the URL in the browser bar of a site to verify that they use SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption. Secure websites are configured to mask the data you share, such as passwords or financial info. Shopping only on secure sites reduces the risk your information will be compromised while you shop.
Keep an eye out for fraud
Check your bank and credit card statements for fraudulent charges, and set up account alerts to notify you of any new activity on your card. When you receive a notification, you can check your account to make sure you recognize the charge. After you make the purchase, keep the details in a safe place (ie. a Receipts folder in your email inbox). Your order confirmation number and the tracking information the seller provides will help you resolve an issue quickly, should something arise.
Importance of Reporting
“It is through these efforts we hope to build a safer and more secure cyber landscape.” Gorham encourages everyone to use FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and reach out to their local field office to report malicious activity. Rapid reporting can help law enforcement stop fraudulent transactions before a victim loses the money for good. The FBI’s Recovery Asset Team was created to streamline communication with financial institutions and FBI field offices and is continuing to build on its success. The team successfully recovered more than $300 million for victims in 2019.
Credit vs. Debit
Always use a credit card to shop as securely as possible! A credit card doesn’t give a seller direct access your bank account. Most credit cards offer $0 liability for fraud. Should you encounter an issue, your credit card company will ask questions, investigate the fraudulent activity and send you a new card.
Virtual Credit Card
Some credit card issuers offer a virtual card number that’s linked to your account. You can use the temporary number to shop online without showing the seller your real credit card details. Should your credit card not offer this feature, try PayPal, Venmo, Square, etc. for an additional layer of protection.
3 Steps To Stay Safe
Prepare and protect your business from the Dark Web
Dark Web Monitoring
MSPs protect their clients from a cybersecurity breach due to compromised employee credentials by monitoring the dark web in real-time, and automatically alerting them when it’s time to change passwords because their credentials are up for sale on the dark web.
Security & Awareness Training and Phishing
complement dark web monitoring with simulated phishing attacks and security awareness training campaigns to educate employees, making them the Front Line of Defense against cybercrime.
Secure Remote Access Management
With most of the world working remotely and an increased dependency on cloud applications to run daily business operations, Secure Identity & Access Management is paramount to ensuring the right people have the right access to the right resources – all from the right devices and locations.
Request a Dark Web Scan & Safety Evaluation
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