Tips for Staying Safe Shopping Online During the Holiday Season

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Cyber ​​Monday is fast approaching. While online vacation retail sales are expected to increase by up to 15% from last year, the Virginia Information Technologies Agency encourages you to take a few simple steps to stay safe while shopping for your family and friends. friends.

“The holiday season is a prime time for hackers, scammers and online thieves looking to take advantage of it,” said Michael Watson, Virginia’s chief information security officer. “The main threats range from bad actors trying to deceive people with counterfeit products, allegations of unauthorized credit card activity and even false shipping details for the products. They will also try to take advantage of people’s kindness to extract personal and financial information through bogus websites or charities.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your family from these cyber threats:

  • Think before you click: Beware of advertisements and emails tricking you into clicking on links. Instead, go directly to the company’s website to verify that the offer is legitimate.
  • Consider your payment options: Using a credit card offers users better financial protection than using a debit card. You can also use third-party payment services to purchase gifts and other goods.
  • Keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements: You should frequently check your accounts for any unrecognized activity. Most credit cards allow a cardholder to place activity alerts on a card. Monitoring and maintaining good records goes hand in hand with protecting your personal information.
  • Use a secure Wi-Fi network: Using public Wi-Fi to check your shopping list or compare certain prices is extremely convenient, but not cyber-safe. Instead of public Wi-Fi, use a virtual private network (VPN) or your mobile phone as an access point.

“Another thing to note, if you fall for any of these scams or tricks you are not alone. It happens to a lot of people,” Watson said. “But you have to know what to do. Contact the forces. local order and report it.You can also use the credit freeze to protect yourself.

For more cybersecurity information and information security advice, visit VITA website.


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