• Cyber Security and The Holidays — What You Should Know

A photo of someone shopping online with credit card out

The holiday season is here — time to enjoy family, friends, delicious food, and of course, presents! According to recent statistics, 51% of Americans prefer to shop online. Are you one of them? Even though online shopping can be more convenient, there are definite risks associated with it.

Protect yourself this holiday season by following these Cyber Security tips every time you shop.

Avoid Phishing Scams  

Phishing scams pick up around the holidays, so make sure you are weary of any email offers you receive. A good adage to keep in mind is, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Be wary of emails from retailers promoting specials or holiday deals, especially if you’re not familiar with the business. Clicking links in these emails can result in releasing your personal information or even installing malware on your computer.

Keep Track Of Your Devices

If you’ll be traveling for the holidays, make sure to keep track of devices that may have personal information, like your laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Consider installing a tracking service on your device that will help you locate it if it is lost. If you are unable to recover the device, make sure to contact your bank to alert them.

Avoid Shopping On Public Wifi

One of the major conveniences of online shopping is that it can be done nearly anywhere. But it’s important to avoid the temptation to shop when you’re using public wifi. Cyber criminals have been known to set up fake hotspots and free public wifi networks as a way to gain login and password information from unsuspecting users.

Regularly Check Your Bank Statements

During the busy holiday season, you are likely making more purchases than usual. Take the time to regularly go over your billing statements to make sure that you have made all of the purchases listed. It’s also a good idea to keep purchases to credit cards, as opposed to debit cards, as most credit card companies offer certain fraud protections for their clients.

Be Vigilant About Secure Websites And Payment Methods

A common ploy for cyber criminals is setting up fake websites that look similar to reliable online retailers. Check the web address before putting any personal information in — it should have an “https” address and you should see the green padlock indicating that it is a secure website. Avoid saving credit card information on these websites as well. The extra minute it takes to re-enter this information could save you from a heap of hassle down the line.

Have questions about other ways to protect yourself during the busy holiday months? A #MorseOfCourse agent is here to help! Stop by our office, give us a call at 508-238-0056, or visit our website to connect with a local agent:

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