cybersecurity and holiday shoppingIt’s that time again — holiday shopping has returned to full swing. Despite the madness of Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and Black Friday, holiday shopping remains top of mind for many. E-commerce sales are on the rise because many people are shopping online and avoiding physical stores. There is no sign that consumers will be returning to their old ways soon.

Online shopping is becoming more intuitive and simple every day. This makes it easier to find the perfect gift. You must be careful when shopping online. Cybercriminals are looking for your money, and it’s obvious that businesses want your holiday dollars.

Although you do not need to be concerned about pickpocketing in cyberspace, it is important to avoid falling prey to criminals.

10 tips will help you be cyber secure

1. For any type of shopping, do not use public Wi Fi

Public Wi-Fi networks can pose a danger, especially during holiday seasons. They are convenient but not secure and could allow hackers to access your usernames, passwords and emails. Ask Adtek Advanced Technologies about setting up secure WiFi for your employees.

Although it is better to avoid Wi-Fi publics, you should make sure that you do not establish an autoconnection and log out of any personal accounts such as banking sites. While it’s fine to connect to your home or other trusted sources, you should consider turning off Wi-Fi on your phone when you are out in public. Instead, use your data plan and turn off the Wi-Fi option. It’s slower but you’ll be able to wait for Santa’s elves to deliver your Amazon presents.

2. You must ensure that the site is secured

Before you submit any personal or financial data, ensure that the website you’re visiting is legit and trustworthy. Look for the “lock symbol” when visiting a website which indicates a SSL certificate is applied. This might be found in the URL bar or in other parts of your browser. Also, make sure the URL has “HTTPS” at the beginning. Both of these indicate that the site protects your data with encryption.

3. Find out the price of the product

It’s possible that the offer is too good to true. will help you find out more about the company. The site allows you to leave reviews about online companies and share your experiences buying from them. This will help you to understand what to expect from them when buying.

4. Give your debit card a holiday break

Remember that your credit cards and payment services like PayPal are the best options when you shop online. Credit cards provide greater protection and lower liability in the event that your information is compromised. Debit cards, on the other hand, are directly linked to your bank account so you are at greater risk of being accessed by criminals. Credit card companies have the power to reverse a charge in the case of fraudulent transactions and investigate further.

5. Keep checking back

secure online shoppingIt is important to update your operating network system and anti-virus software regularly. This will help you prevent criminals accessing your data. Software updates are available to enhance your security and prevent criminal hackers from exploiting new vulnerabilities. Although it may seem like a tedious task to wait for your mobile device or computer to update, there are many benefits that can be gained. Do it if you feel that your device is in need of an update.

6. Be smarter than the scammers

We often receive emails offering discounts during the holidays. Although many of these special offers and discounts might be legitimate, scammers use this surge of emails to send their malware and viruses, called phishing, hoping that it will get lost in the mix. These scams have become more common over the years, and are now portrayed as legitimate discounts or special offers. You should be cautious when you receive an email from someone you do not know or a website you have never visited.

7. Complex passwords are a must

It is a best cybersecurity practice to update and enhance your passwords. Creating unique passwords is still the best security for protecting financial and personal information. You are setting yourself up to fail if you use the same password on multiple websites. You may have trouble creating unique passwords for your entire information. Password generators and managers can help you create more complex passwords and store them securely.

8. Learn how to understand your shopping applications

Apps can make shopping easier, but they could also be used by criminals to steal your personal information. You should only install and use trusted apps from trustworthy cybersecurity companies like Adtek Advanced Technologies. If you are unsure about certain applications, make sure you check the reviews from legitimate users to see if they have any suspicious content.

9. Don’t save your data

Never save passwords, usernames, or credit card information in a browser. Clear your history, cookies, offline content, and history regularly. Use strong passwords, and set up Multi-factor Authentication. It is as easy as getting a code or text message that you must enter while signing in to a system. You can often set up an authentication application from within your account preferences.

Consider shopping online as a guest user instead of creating an account. You can also use your private browsing feature. Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode, for example, won’t save your browsing history, cookies or site data. It also doesn’t save information you input on forms. Online shopping offers unparalleled convenience, but you should not let it override your security best practice.

10. Pay attention to your credit

Even though you may be cyber-safe and protected, mistakes happen. Pay attention to your credit reports to make sure nothing is unusual. Online shopping can provide a wealth of products and make it easy to find that perfect gift. Be careful not to give cybercriminals your personal data. Trust your gut instincts and follow these cybersecurity best practices. Happy Holidays! Safe shopping!

Cybersecurity is critical for both your employees and your customers. Call Adtek today for a complete assessment of your network and it’s vulnerabilities.

Happy Holiday and Happy Shopping!