HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) – Experts say buyers will spend $ 11.8 billion this Cyber Monday. Before you turn on your computer or open your favorite site, consider these tips for staying safe online. According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, online shopping crimes were the second most reported crime behind phishing / vishing.
WAFF spoke with Ashish Baria, Chief Information Security Officer at Redstone Federal Credit Union. He recommends these tips for staying safe online:
- Buy from a reputable retailer. Scammers can duplicate websites that look like real ones. Always type the site yourself, don’t go there from an email you received from someone.
- Look for the lock. Before you buy anything and enter your payment information, be sure to check HTTPS or a lock icon at the start of the URL on a retailer’s website. This ensures that the site is secure and that data in transit is encrypted.
- Buy only from a secure network. Never use public Wi-Fi to shop or bank online. Public networks are often unencrypted and insecure.
- Don’t share too much. No online retailer needs your social security number or date of birth. However, if crooks get them and your credit card number, they can do a lot of damage.
- Always use unique and strong passwords. Also make sure to enable MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) when available and keep your systems up to date with the latest software updates.
- Monitor your accounts. Set up alerts and take a few extra minutes to keep tabs on your accounts and credit card statements during the holiday season. Take a look at the transactions and make sure they are correct.
- Bottom Line: Stay alert and proactive when shopping online this holiday season and protect your personal information and finances.
For more ways to save, be sure to tune in at noon every Friday for the “Financial Friday” segment of WAFF 48.
Copyright 2021 WAFF. All rights reserved.