How to Stay Cyber-Safe When Shopping Online

Posted On November 26, 2019 By Advance Blog

Educate Your Employees on Cybersecurity Best Practices Before It’s Too Late!

With deals around every corner, shoppers everywhere are enjoying the benefits of holiday deal-busting without ever stepping foot in a store. From their personal cell phone to their work PC, you can be sure that your employees are taking advantage of online deals as they become available – and for some, that will mean shopping during work hours and on company devices.

With the holidays quickly approaching, organizations should be wary of how their employees are using their company devices and network. In the case of cybersecurity, the best offense is a strong defense – educate your employees using the following guide to ensure a cyber secure holiday season for yourself, your employees and your business.

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  1. Be Careful with the Clicks

Between promotional emails and shipping notifications, we all must use a little extra caution before clicking links found on the flurry of emails that we receive during the holiday season!

One very effective best practice is to look for typos in emails or website links, which may indicate a phishing scam or fake links. Some potential problems to look for:

  • Extra letters in a domain, like samsclubb.com
  • ‘r n’ disguised as ‘m’ such as in potterybarm.com
  • 1’s disguised as I’s, as in koh1s.com

Additionally, be wary of fake shopping apps on the market – if you wish to download a shopping app from your favorite store, always download directly from that store’s website to be sure it’s legitimate.

  1. Only Shop if there’s a Lock

hacker stealing bank account, credit card number and social security number

Websites that have security enabled using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encrypt data during transmission, making it safe to use a credit card on that site. Look for that lock in the address bar and a URL with “https” instead of “http” at the beginning.

  1. Don’t Shop on Hotspots

Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi networks, like in airports or coffee shops. While this may seem like the perfect time to knock out that shopping list, open hotspots are extremely dangerous. Hackers have been known to intercept communication between you and the connection point so that instead of talking directly with the hotspot, you end up sending your information to the hacker. In this case, the hacker has access to all the information you send out – emails, phone numbers and credit card information. And once a hacker has that information, you’ve basically given them the keys to your front door.

  1. Use Strong and Unique Passwords

Consider making your passwords sentences, like “AdvanceServiceIsTheBest!” and make them unique to every site. Don’t ever use your work email or any variation of your work password on any third-party websites and be sure to monitor the Dark Web for exposure of your credentials!

Conclusion

With these best practices in mind, your organization should stay cyber secure and safe from harm. We wish everyone happy and safe shopping this season!

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