Stay safe while online shopping

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With more people than ever before doing their shopping online as a result of COVID-19 and online sales such as Cyber Monday deals, cyber attacks are on the rise. Criminals are sending phishing emails and text messages, hoping to obtain the personal information of their targets or install malware on their devices. Often these messages are disguised to look like communications from legitimate organizations.

There are many ways to reduce the risk of account compromise when shopping online. To stay safe while doing your holiday shopping, follow these best practices.

  1. Always update to the most current version of your browser.
  2. Watch out for fake websites. A website may appear almost identical to the real site. If in doubt, confirm the website; it’s always worth double-checking a website’s address to ensure authenticity.
  3. Only shop on a secure website by looking for HTTPs or a padlock symbol in the address bar.
  4. Understand the privacy policy of the website. Know what kind of information is being collected and how your personal data will be used.
  5. Where applicable, enable multifactor authentication.
  6. Learn to spot phishing attempts and questionable deals (too good to be true).
  7. Always be vigilant with unsolicited email messages, chats, text messages, and phone calls.
  8. Don’t use public Wi-Fi or use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if you have to use a public network. Public Wi-Fi connections are often unencrypted and unsecured.
  9. Keep a close eye on your bank statements for unusual transactions on your account.
  10. Always use a strong password (Long and memorable words with a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters).