Thanksgiving is just around the corner, which means shopping season is underway. Cyber Monday is Dec. 2, and as every year projects, it will be bigger than ever. Online shopping projections show that online shopping this holiday season is expected to reach almost $60 billion. With so many excited shoppers scrambling through purchases, the chance for identity theft, scams, and other related cybercrimes drastically increases. Here are some tips to help you avoid identity theft while still getting to take advantage of the good deals.
Tips to Help You Avoid Identity Theft
- Avoid leaving a trail- Online shopping involves paying for everything with a credit card. You can avoid identity theft by not letting sites store your credit card information, even if you think you will be back for more purchases. Not leaving a financial trail will decrease your chances of someone getting their hands on your credit card information.
- You can’t trust everyone- Only shop on sites with “https.” When making online purchases, use a credit card versus a debit card. Debit cards aren’t covered by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Also look for the lock icon on the address bar. If you feel at all hesitant about a site, check the Better Business Bureau or Federal Trade Commission for fraud complaints.
- If it looks like spam, it probably is- You know the ads. They pop up bright and flashy and say, “Congratulations! You’re the 1,000th customer! Click here to win $1,000 cash!” Even the mild forms of those pop-up ads that just ask for your name or email are likely spam. Spreading any personal information around the internet gives cyber thieves a way to track your online behavior.
- Build a firewall- Anti-virus software is an absolute necessity to avoid identity theft on both your computer and mobile device. Consumers making purchases on their mobile device or tablet will account for $10 billion in sales this holiday season.”
- Be wary of WiFi- Avoid unsecured or public WiFi networks when online shopping. Your financial information can easily be identified when using an unprotected network that others have access to.
Protect Yourself on Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday is a holiday tradition celebrated by the masses. It’s also the ideal hunting grounds for fraud artists and identity thieves. At DataShield we are committed to keeping your information secure by properly disposing of your confidential materials. Call us today to take advantage of our certified and secure information disposal services.