12 Tips to Protect Yourself Against Scams During Cyber Monday
According to a recent survey from NerdWallet, close to three-quarters of all people in the United States are planning on doing their holiday shopping online. At the same time, there are also scammers who are going to be out there trying to take advantage of unsuspecting people. There are a few tips that everyone should keep in mind to stay safe as they shop on Cyber Monday.
1. Email Links: Stay Away
Email links and email spoofing are one of the biggest threats on Cyber Monday. If you receive an email with a link in it, do not click on it. Furthermore, even if you think the email is from a trusted source, make sure the text of the email link actually matches where the link is sending you. Email links are one of the most common ways that cybercriminals get unsuspecting users to fall into traps. Also be careful of links from email spoofing
2. Attachments: Don’t Open
Attachments are one of the biggest threats in the world of cybersecurity. Sometimes, attachments may contain viruses, malware, worms, or trojan horses. Do not open attachments from vendors. Instead, contact the vendor and ask them for more information if they send you an email with an attachment.
3. Pop-Ups: Don’t Fall for Them
There are going to be numerous pop-up ads claiming to give away free offers. Do not fall for them. Pop-up ads are incredibly dangerous and they could redirect you to a landing page that might infect your computer or steal your information.
4. Remember E-Skimmers and Their Dangers
It is possible for cybercriminals to install credit card skimmers in the code of the website. Then, they could steal your data when you check out. In order to protect yourself, it is a good idea to use a third-party vendor such as Venmo, PayPal, or Amazon, if the retailer allows it.
5. Use a Credit Card
If you cannot use a third-party retailer, then always use a credit card instead of a debit card. If your credit card information is stolen, you can always cancel your card and ask your credit card vendor to reverse the charges. Furthermore, thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act, you are only going to be liable for up to $50 of fraudulent charges.
6. Secure Your Wi-Fi
Whenever you shop online, secure your Wi-Fi. Make sure there is appropriate password protection and never conduct a transaction on an unsecured network. This is the easiest way for you to have your information stolen.
7. Don’t Fall for Free Offers
During Cyber Monday, there will be a rapid rise in the number of survey scams. Do not fall for these emails. The links will often take you to pages that ask you to enter your credit card information, where it is stolen.
8. Don’t Use the Same Password
Even though it is hard to remember, use a different password for every site. This will limit the damage if your username and password get stolen. There are helpful tools (specifically password books) that you can use to manage your passwords if you are worried about forgetting them.
9. Monitor All Accounts Closely
Sometimes, you might not even know that your data has been stolen. If you are using our bank account or credit card to purchase items on Cyber Monday, monitor the accounts closely and to stay on the alert for any charges that you do not recognize.
10. Think About Gift Card Scams
Furthermore, be on the alert for pages that are offering you a gift card for purchasing something, completing an offer, or simply visiting a website. After you enter your information, they could steal your credentials. Furthermore, you are very unlikely to actually get a gift card out of this.
11. Always Check the Order Confirmation Page
After you buy something, always check the order confirmation page. You should receive an email letting you know what you purchase. If the order doesn’t match what you bought, then you need to reach out to the vendor immediately. Furthermore, consider reaching out to your credit card company to cancel the transaction as well.
12. Phishing Attacks Are Out There
Phishing attacks are among the biggest threats in the world of cybersecurity. If someone emails you with a lot of information asking for your login and password information, do not share it. The vast majority of vendors and businesses will never ask you for your login credentials over email. This is the most common way that phishing attacks are executed.
Stay Safe on Cyber Monday
These are a few of the most important tips that you can follow to stay safe on Cyber Monday. Protect yourself and your personal information as you shop on the biggest online shopping day of the year.