Cyber Monday Ten Commandments: Keep Your Holiday Shopping Safe This Season
Tis the season for compulsive shopping, over-hyper-active sales and opulent online shopping! Last year, consumers spent about 1.5 billion dollars on Cyber Monday, up 16% from 2011. Industry experts predict this season will see even more growth in online purchases. Coupled with the boom in sales is a predicted increase in the amount and severity of online scamming and data theft. Cyber Monday is here and we’ve got the Cyber Monday Ten Commandments to keep you, your data and your wallet safe this season!
10. Thou Shall Use a Secure Connection
Stay away from online shopping at your local Starbucks! (The only shopping that should be done at your local coffee shop should be for? You guessed it – COFFEE!) Any and all online financial transactions take place through a secure, private Wi-Fi connection, as opposed to using the more vulnerable free Wi-Fi in a coffee shop or library.
9. Thou Shall Not Use Your Debit Card
If you have the option to use a credit card vs debit card, use your credit card instead. There are more security protections on your credit card that may not exist while using your debit card.
8. Thou Shall Bring No False Pop-Up Before Me
Those annoying pop-up ads are annoying for a reason. Call it a forewarning from God,or whatever you want – just know that pop-ups are evil. EVIL! Though it may seem obvious, malicious pop-up ads still pose one of the largest threats to web shoppers. Studies have shown that a large amount of consumers will click on the account regardless of its message. Be mindful of what pop-ups say, it could be evidence of a security threat.
7. Shop at Companies You Know
Before you buy from a merchant on Amazon, Etsy or Ebay, check their rating and number of sales. Make sure they have good return policies and clearly posted contact information. If worried, you can always check on a businesses legitimacy through the Better Business Bureau.
6. Thou Shall Check Your Statements Frequently
Hackers will do very low level theft once obtaining your information, charging small amounts to your credit card to avoid detection. Stay on top of your account statements and keep a record of how much you spend and where.
5. Keep Software Up-To-Date
Though many systems automatically update your software as new features become available, it’s important to keep your programs as current as possible. To avoid security holes, update apps and software minimally once a week, as newer versions appear.
4. Thou Shall Install Antivirus and Anti-Spyware software
When shopping, you don’t want others to be able to track what sites you’re visiting and what information you’re entering online.
3. Be Wary of Charity Sites
Though the holidays are frequently the most popular time to make donations to charity, consumers must remember to check the legitimacy of your charity’s website.
2. Thou Shall Ensure Your Site Is Secure
If you are entering your financial information on a webpage, make sure the URL begins with “https” as opposed to “http” or has a lock in your browser’s search bar.
1. Thou Shall Not Use “Weak” Passwords
An essential part of online security in any sense is using strong passwords. This means no birthdays, dog names or variations of “1234” for any of your accounts.
Keep your Cyber Monday transactions and all of your online holiday shopping safe this season with these Cyber Monday Ten Commandments and you’ll be sure to have a glorious sin-free experience all season long! Happy Shopping!