Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday Americans are expected to shop online like never before and scammers have self appointed themselves alongside retailers looking for opportunities to cash in. The FBI’s section chief Steven Merrill, said during a phone interview that the “agency” is preparing for cybercriminals to put in extra work to negatively capitalize on consumers this year. He also stated that many are “economically distressed and people tend to make decisions that they wouldn’t normally do because circumstances are different.” While also cautioning shoppers to do their “due diligence and be careful.” Here a five tips to keep the bag secured this holiday season.
1. Make sure the site you are shopping on is legitimate. Digital thieves are known to set up fake e commerce stores so make sure the place you’re purchasing from is credible and when in doubt buy the item (if available) from an established retailer.
2. Update Security Software: Downloading your phones/laptops latest security update can alleviate general bugs lagging on your device and strengthen out of date firewalls.
3. Do not click on advertisements sent to your email unless you are certain the source is valid. Email phishing scams are common and clicking on an unknown link can grant a hacker permissions that gives them access to your devices personal settings including financial information and passcodes.
4. Do not use public or free WIFI connections while shopping with a credit or debit card. They’re typically less secure than home networks. If able use a VPN or virtual private network it possesses the ability to hide your location or ISP online.
5. When shopping online check for “HTTP” in the websites address. The absence of a lock icon/http is a direct affirmation that the site is unsecure.
BONUS TIP: Shop at a local black owned business:)
BY: BEWITTY Staff