How to Not Get Hacked on Cyber Monday 101

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have a lot of people swiping their credit cards, but it’s also primetime for hackers to steal your information.

With the start of the holiday season comes spending money online, so how do you make sure you won’t be the latest victim of a hack? 

Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday have a lot of people entering their credit card numbers online, but the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says it’s also primetime for hackers to steal your information. According to TransUnion’s 2019 Holiday Retail Fraud Survey, about 73% of people plan on doing their holiday shopping online. 

Before starting your shopping, the DHS says to first check your laptop or phone and make sure it’s up to date with the latest operating system. Usually those updates include security improvements that can help keep you safer when you spend money online.. They also suggest having multi-step authentication for logins when available, and use complicated passwords for everything. And as always, only use secure or private WiFi when putting in all of that  information. 

When making purchases, the DHS suggests only shopping through credible sources and vendors. They warn against clicking on links or downloads in emails, which can sometimes be phishing scams and are designed to look like they’re from legitimate retailers. 

When checking out, always check to make sure the website has a “secured” icon next to the URL, which is a layer of security that most credible ecommerce websites will have. 

The DHS also suggests using a credit card as opposed to a debit card, because most credit card companies have policies against fraud, whereas debit cards sometimes do not. It also means that in the event of a cyber thief, the actual money in your checking account won’t be stolen. 

For more tips and tricks on keeping your information safe this holiday season, you can read the DHS’s full list of protection here.
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