Cybercriminals successfully take advantage of the increase in online activity during the holidays. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that the incidence of fraud increases by 20% during the holiday season. The Department of Homeland Security offers the following suggestions to be safe this holiday season:
- Don't fall for phishing, no matter how good it sounds. Phishing emails are the main type of attack aimed at online shoppers during the holiday season to steal your personal and financial information. Do not click on any link or open any attachment that looks suspicious.
- Check the web address. Before entering shipping, billing or payment information with an online retailer, make sure the web address begins with 'https://'. The 's' means "secure" and ensures the data entered is encrypted and is less likely to be stolen.
- Put the criminals to work. One of the easiest way to protect your personal information is by changing passwords regularly. Create a password using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use your children's name, your pet's name, etc. in your password. This information is easily obtainable from social media. Never use the same passwords for your most sensitive accounts, such as banking, email, and social media.
For more information, visit: https://niccs.us-cert.gov/featured-stories/safe-online-shopping-holiday-season