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Cyber Monday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, is expected break all sorts of records in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Are you planning on shopping online this Cyber Monday or anytime this Holiday Season?  Don’t let all the deals distract you, follow these 10 tips below to shop safe this Holiday Season.

10 Safety Tips for Shopping Online:

1

Make Sure your Browser is up to date

Always apply all the updates to your internet brower.  This will keep your browser safe from any vuneralbilites that have been identifed and patched.

2

Shop from a Secure Computer

A computer or smartphone that isn’t protected by the best antivirus software is more likely to be compromised by malware. Otherwise, all data entered into or transmitted from that phone or computer is at risk, including your personal information, credit-card numbers and bank accounts.

3

Shop using a Secure Connection

You should always look for the HTTPS lock symbol in your browser address window before entering any personal information. 

4

Search for Deals on Retailer Sites, not on Search Engines

In 2019, we saw reports that cybercriminals have created up to 100,000 fake online-shopping websites, made up to look like well-known websites and with similar web addresses, to lure in shoppers and hit them with scams.  Run your searches on the sites you trust to avoid falling victim to malicious or deceptive links.

5

Use Trusted Vendors

Any website can be attacked by hackers, but limiting your shopping to established and trusted vendors limits your exposure. Bookmark the most trusted online retail sites to make sure you don’t get redirected to fakes.

6

Check each Website's URL

This may seem obvious, but you’ll want to check each retail website’s address, aka URL, in your browser’s address bar.  Scammers can “clone” well-known shopping sites and park them at web addresses that are often just one mistyped letter away from the real thing. You can also use Norton’s Safe Web (https://safeweb.norton.com) to test any website you are unsure about.

7

Don't Fall for 'Too-Good-To-Be-True' Deals

If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.  If you aren’t familair with the company, do some reasearch to ensure you are shopping on a trusted site.  You can always check with the Better Business Bureau to see what their rating is.

8

Review Credit Card and Bank Statements Regularly during the Shopping Season

Malware can infect credit-card readers in stores as well as online retail websites. If you find a transaction that doesn’t match your purchases, reach out to your bank or credit card company.

9

Use only Credit Cards Online

You’ve got far less protection against fraud on a debit card than you do with a credit card, so stick to credit cards when shopping online.  When the site asks if it can save your credit-card number for next time, decline the offer. You’ll have to type the number in again next time you visit, but you’ll have one less thing to worry about when the site gets hit by a data breach.

10

Use Unique Passwords and Logon Information for every Site you Visit

Yes, it’s a pain to remember all those passwords. But if one of them is stolen, the hacker won’t be able to use the same password to access your accounts on other websites. Passwords should be as long as possible and contain a mix of upper- and lower-case characters, numbers, punctuation and symbols.