Featured Savings Rates

Popular Posts

Featured Accounts

7 Tips for Safe Shopping on Cyber Monday


7 Tips for Safe Shopping on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is expected to be the largest online shopping day in history. According to ADI’s 2016 “Holiday Prediction” Cyber Monday will hit $3.36 billion in sales, up more than 9% over last year.

Furthermore, according to NordVPN, for the first time, online shopping has outweighed shopping in stores this year: people are now making 51% of their shopping online, compared to 48% in 2015.

Trouble is, all the buzz hasn’t bypassed hackers. They’re ready to make a killing off of shoppers spaced out with all the merriment. They have a plethora of tricks to blindside you if you’re not on you’re a-game. Here’s how ensure your holiday is happy rather than horrendous.

Monitor for Grinches

Cyber thieves are increasingly targeting victims at the point of transaction, meaning access to a physical card is no longer necessary to commit fraud, says TransUnion vice president Heather Battison. “Pay close attention to credit card statements and monitor for any unrecognizable charges.”

Use secure websites

Before providing any personal or payment information to an online retailer, look for a URL that begins with “https” not “http” and the emblem of a lock on the page, typically next to the address bar to ensure a secure connection, says Battison.

Be wary of the unfamiliar

Know who you’re dealing with. “Quick research gives you insight into how they conduct business and how trustworthy they are. Again, online shopping is not like the pushing and shoving that goes on in stores. Take your time and gain confidence in the retailer that you’re buying from,” says Ron Schlecht, Jr., of BTB Security.

Avoid clicking on links delivered to your email from unfamiliar websites. “It could be a phishing scheme, where shoppers who access the link are led to a false site developed to steal that data,” warns Tim Francis, enterprise cyber lead for Travelers. Don’t fall for the trap – the can’t-pass-up deal. “If it seems too good to be true, it is just that.” Also a red flag should go up if you’re asked for information that is not typically asked, such as your Social Security number. There’s another clue that perhaps you’re dealing with an illegit outfit. Thieves know all too well which sites are popular, so they’ll set a trap by creating easily misspelled domains to for their benefit. “Trying to visit Ammazon or maybe BlarnesandNoble.com? Hackers will establish sites with misspelled domains to trick you into giving them your password or making a fake order. Check the URL bar,” says Nick Santora, who runs the team at Curricula, a cyber security education company.

Stay home for the holidays

When shopping online, don’t use unsecure networks. “It’s best to ensure you are on a secure home or business network before surfing the net,” says Francis.

Trim your tree with security

A security app is more than a pretty ornament, it’s critical for online shopping. “Investing in a security app is an important step in ensuring that your online shopping is done safely,” says Francis.

Be defensive

Use a Virtual Private Networks to encrypt all the data you share across the internet on any website. They are a good defense for cyber crooks on the hunt for your confidential info.

Also, muscle up your passwords. Don’t go for something easy for you to recall, like your last name and 123 or abc. It’s easy for you, and easier still for folks who mean you no good. Change your passwords. Use two-factor authentication on every website and internet account if available, advises Lee Munson, security researcher at Comparitech.com.

Look for reviews. If the site doesn’t have any reviews, it is probably fake. Established retail sites will have customers, don’t be the first one.

Use your cards wisely

“Do not use debit cards. They may be convenient, but if you pay a scammer with a debit card, then realize what happened, you may never get your money back, as it is gone at the moment of purchase,” warns Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. Instead, use credit cards. If you pay a scammer with a credit card, you can dispute the charge when it appears on the card. The credit card company will work with you and usually will reverse the charges. See if your credit card issues a one-time use credit card number for a specific purchase. “This way, if the purchase is to a scammer, they can’t use the one-time number for anything else.”

Comments
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #1
Thanks, Sheryl. You do a wonderful job with this website.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #2
SUGGEST YOU DONT PROCEED TO  CYBER ADD IN YOUR EMAIL DIRECTLY  TO SHOP.

INSTEAD, GET OUT OF EMAIL AND THEN GO TO THAT SHOP IF INTERESTED.

FOR EXAMPL, YOU GET A WONDERFUL CYBER AD FROM BEST BUY IN YOUR EMAIL AND IT MIGHT SAY CLICK ON HERE OR JUST CLICK ON AD --DONT DONT DONT

GO OUT OF EMAIL AND GO TO BESTBUY.COM

JUST TRYING TO HELP

AND ALSO, WATCH OUT FOR NO RETURNS (ITS A RESTRICTION ON A LOT OF CYBER OFFERS)--AND DONT BUY GIFT CARDS ON-LINE EVER.  GET THEM AT THE PHYSICAL STORE.

AND DONT BUY RE-PACKAGED, OR USED OR REFURBISHED AS NEW ON CYBER

AND MERRY CHRISTMAS
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #3
For both shopping online as well as in stores, watch about making multiple separate transactions at the same store. I went into a big box retailer and bought three items (one large, one medium, one small) and wanted them on different receipts (instead of putting them all on the same one). The first 2 went through okay, but when it came time for the small item, it was suddenly "DECLINED" with the card issuer (NavyFed) calling my home and cell number to verify it was me doing the charges.

I understand the need for fraud monitoring but don't understand why a $500, $150, and $60 purchase made at the same retailer (physically there in the store, not online) would be flagged, whereas if I had just made one $710 charge, it wouldn't be. NavyFed told me that thieves like to do it this way (multiple purchases one after the other), but it doesn't make sense. Heck, if I was a thief, I'd put everything together and ring it all up together. I did separate receipts because I knew one of the two smaller items would be returned, and wanted to keep to keep it separate from the big purchase.

At any rate, just be aware that doing so (making more than 2 separate purchases at the same store, even in person, on the same day) may cause your card issuer to go nuts.

(As a PS, Navy being Navy, when their robocall called me to verify it was me making the charges, even after I answered yes and verified who I was, it still continued to be declined, and I had to call and wait to speak to a live CSR (answering the same questions again), who had to then call over to the Fraud Dept to get the hold taken off. Sheesh.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #5
Thieves probably like multiple transactions so that at least some go through before they reach the limit on the card. If they just did one large txn, it may not go through at all and get flagged.
#4 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #6
You have no control online even with a big store.  When ever you charge the have records of your card number.  Several retailers have been hacked at POS terminals and their databases. One great thing about charge cards is that you are not responsible for fraud as long as you report it promptly. The crooks are always looking for new ways to defeat the safeguards tech people put in place.  I've had my card numbers stolen at a hospital and even at Lowes by a person that worked there.  Never paid for any of the fraud charges.  One thing I like about Target is that their Red Card now requires a PIN at POS so if someone gets your card they need the PIN.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #7
I have no interest of "ensuring" that Target or anyone else does not have a lost.  I shouldn't have to use any pin for any credit card!  It is their cost of doing business and they need to learn how to do it right!
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #8
Use a cash back credit card like the Citibank double cash 2% cash back card and go through paypal so they don't even have your credit card info. This way you still get all the cash back rewards and have double layer protection. $0 liability from the credit card and purchase protection from paypal. Also use a shopping network like topcashback, ebates and discover and stack on some coupon codes and free shipping. Why would anyone go to a brick and mortar store and pay twice as much plus sales tax, gas money and rick getting trampled on by the ignorant masses trying to get that one tv at a good price? No thanks.
Anonymous
Anonymous   |     |   Comment #9
To not get hacked!