Cyber Security Tips To Help Keep You Safe This Black Friday & Cyber Monday

The Holiday season is officially amongst us, which in turn marks the start of the holiday shopping season. Everyone will soon be scrambling around to find the perfect gifts for their significant others, friends, & family during the frosty mornings and brisk nights to come. However, with all the festive and jolly times to be had by all brings the chance of potentially becoming subject to fraud. If you are wondering how to protect yourself from scams or online fraud, use these security measures to keep your financial mind at ease this cheerful season.

Never Click on Fraudulent Links

Sending fraudulent emails is certainly a popular way hackers are targeting consumers these days. Hackers and scammers alike will use a technique called “phishing” to try and lure a consumer into clicking on deceitful links that are filled with malware and viruses. To avoid this from happening it is important that you do not click on any inbound emails from unknown senders. This goes for retailers as well! If you happen to receive any emails with “clickable” attachments from retailers this should immediately raise a red flag, due to the fact that retailers won’t hide promotional offers in attachments. Attackers will use this as another method to try and trick you into clicking on a virus-ridden attachment. It is also important to note that scammers won’t just impersonate retailers but other businesses as well. So, always make sure you are confirming that whoever is sending you links, attachments, or any other “clickable” content is a legitimate source.

Only Make Online Purchases From Secure Websites

To skip the craziness of Black Friday a lot of consumers will resort to online shopping this year, but as they say, that which always glitters is not always gold…

Always check to make sure that the websites you’re purchasing from are verified and secure. This means that any website you purchase from should clearly display a lock emblem in the upper left-hand corner of the URL. It’s best to only do your online shopping on websites that you’re familiar with and are 100% verifiable retailers.

If there appears to be an Error message or a lock emblem with an ‘X’ marked across, the site is unprotected and should be avoided.

If Given The Chance Use Cash Over A Credit Card

This is due to the lovely invention of e-skimmers. If you have ever run into these guys, I am sure you are well aware of what they are but for those of us who haven’t, here is a bit more insight…

Card skimming is a modern approach to stealing credit card numbers and sensitive information. It typically happens at gas stations or ATMS, in that criminals install a device to steal your information once you swipe your card, and now this method has unfortunately gone digital. Scammers now have the power to install malicious code on a retailer’s site to steal sensitive information when you check out. The best way to avoid this modern practice is to just use cash. However, if cash isn’t an option, for instance if you need to withdraw money from an ATM, then going to your bank and withdrawing the money will be your best bet. This isn’t always the most convenient option, but it is certainly better than dealing with a security breach this year.

Always Monitor Your Bank Statements

It is greatly important that you are always checking your bank statements on a routine basis this holiday season. Doing so, at least once a week, will ensure that you are keeping up-to-date with your financial security. If someone else is stealing your bank or credit card information, they’ll often either spend an outrageous amount the second they get their hands on the account or they’ll spend a modest amount that may go unnoticed. Obviously, the former would be rather easy to spot on a bank or credit card statement, but it’s the latter that is oftentimes scarier.

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