We have put together this list of 5 ways to protect identity this shopping season. Don’t let the Grinch aka a cyber hacker ruin your holiday season. 2020 has done enough to all of us in terms of canceling trips, quarantining, losing jobs and suffering ransomware and phishing attacks at work that you don’t want to think about getting hacked when you’re shopping online.
It’s estimated that 75% of all shoppers are making purchases online – a number that has grown exponentially during the pandemic. From grocery shopping to Amazon purchase to ordering take-out food, shopping from behind the keyboard is a safer way (from a health standpoint) than braving the crowds.
Because of the increase in online shopping and activity, hackers are having a field day. Here are ways to protect your identity from online scammers and hackers this holiday season.
5 Ways To Protect Identity This Shopping Season
Don’t click on an ad you see on Facebook (for example). If you see a site that looks intriguing, go to the site itself, not through a social media link.
Here are ways to protect your mobile device, because many of us use our mobile devices for everything from phone calls to reading websites (and this article!) to much of our shopping. Keep in mind that you need to be diligent in protecting your identity.
- Use a difficult to guess the password for your mobile device. Double up on security by using a password and biometrics – like facial recognition or a fingerprint. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is best.
- If you receive a notice to update the software on your mobile device, do it. Many times updates will patch known potential security breaches. If you don’t want to be interrupted with an update and don’t want to forget, schedule it to run during the overnight hours.
- When you’re shopping, especially if you’re out in public, use a virtual private network (VPN). Don’t log onto public hotspots. You can purchase a VPN for about $10 a month. If you do a lot of online transactions and you’re not using your home network, use a VPN. Identity thieves can easily hack into public wifi.
- When shopping online, make certain the site is secure; look for https: and/or the padlock in the URL before you shop. Also, make certain you’re typing in the correct URL — there are scammers who will hijack “typo” URLs if they are commonly used and can capture your information.
- Use a credit card for your online purchases. When you use your debit card, the charge comes out immediately; when you use a credit card you have more recourse for disputing a charge. Buy a pre-paid credit card when shopping online – this will protect your bank account or personal credit card from being hijacked.
Hackers are busy year-round, but they have been even busier since the coronavirus pandemic hit the country — the world. With remote workers and somewhat lax, or non-existent out-of-office security, company data has been stolen at an alarming rate.
WareGeeks Solutions is a Roselle, New Jersey-based complete IT consultant and solutions provider. We specialize in 360 Protect Data Now managed services, Data Protection, Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (#BCDR). We work with law firms, real estate and property management professionals and in the healthcare industry. If you have IT or security questions contact Seth at WareGeeks Solutions. For information or a consultation, call (877) 653-7146, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.waregeeks.com