Cyber Monday is quickly approaching and Augusta University’s Cyber Defense Department has some tips to keep you and your hard-earned money safe from cyber criminals. As Cyber Monday’s popularity has grown and the deals get bigger and better, the risks of online commerce also increase.
“As the saying goes, if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be afraid to spend a few minutes doing some research online to determine if it is a scam,” said Dr. Heather Roszkowski, assistant vice president of cybersecurity and chief information security officer.
Here are six tips to keep to in mind when doing your cyber shopping:
- Shop from a secure computer. Use a computer protected by antivirus software to avoid sharing credit card numbers and bank accounts with potential hackers.
- Shop using a secure connection. You should always look for the HTTPS lock symbol in your browser address window.
- Search for deals on retailer sites, not on search engines. Scammers can manipulate search results with malicious or deceptive links. Run a search on a company’s actual site rather than a general search on Google.
- Don’t fall for “too-good-to-be-true” deals. There are lots of incredible deals, but cybercriminals will prey on shoppers’ desire for the lowest prices and will try to slip in a lot of fake deals. Think before you click and check before you buy.
- Regularly check your bank and credit card statements during holiday shopping. If you find a transaction that doesn’t match your purchases, your account may have been compromised. Contact your card issuer.
- Use unique usernames and log ins for each site. Passwords should be as long as possible and contain a mix of upper- and lower-case characters, numbers, punctuation and symbols.
A little homework before doing those holiday purchases can go a long way in saving you the headache of potentially being hacked or having your bank information compromised.