As the turkey is digesting, many people are preparing for another holiday pastime – Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. This is the time of year where shoppers break out their credit cards and grab all the deals they can. Many people avoid shopping in person and jump online to make their purchases. If online shopping is something you choose to do, it pays to take precautions to prevent cyber thieves. Just like you take preventative actions to store documents securely and properly destroy records, you know that you should take steps to protect your identity online.
8 Ways to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft While Shopping on Black Friday
You can take some simple steps to protect your finances while shopping online. Here are eight:
- Avoid Clicking on Email Links: Your favorite retailer may send you emails with their current deals. Cyber thugs will do the same in what is called a phishing email. Their goal is to capture your information via a false portal accessed by the link they sent you. When you receive an email from your retailer, hover over the links to check the information. If it looks ‘fishy,’ then avoid clicking on it.
- Do Not Open Attachments: Retailers will not send you their Black Friday deals in an attachment. Hackers will hide malware in it instead and wreak havoc with your information. Keep in mind that delivery companies are not immune from being used by cyber thieves.
- Stay Away from Pop-Ups and Ads: Those annoying pop-ups may be housing a virus or other types of malware. Not only do they gather your information, but they can infect your device with adware, spyware, and ransomware.
- Be Aware of E-Skimmers: You are probably aware of card skimmers at ATMs and gas stations, but there is another way to skim your card information. Through e-skimming, a thief installs malicious code on a retailer’s website to gather credit card data. Utilize a third-party payment service such as PayPal, Venmo, or Amazon when possible.
- Use a Credit Card Instead of a Debit Card: Many credit card companies have “zero liability” policies, which means you do not have to pay for fraudulent purchases. However, a debit card may not have the same protection. For example, you may be liable for the first $50.
- Use a Secure Network – Not Public Wi-Fi: Many of us enjoy the convenience of public Wi-Fi at our favorite fast-food restaurant. So does a hacker. They can sit a few tables down from you and steal all of your credit card information. Instead of using public Internet access, choose to shop on a private Wi-Fi network or a VPN.
- Pick Complex Passwords: Most people use the same password for many different sites. Once a cybercriminal gets hold of one, they will use it everywhere they can. Make up new passwords that are complex or use a password manager.
- Keep an Eye on Your Accounts: Look at your accounts frequently, even daily. Set up alerts on your bank accounts and credit cards to tell you of any suspicious activity.
Thwart Thieves with Document Storage at Crown Information Management
Stay proactive while shopping. Don’t let cyber thieves take off with your credit card information. Remember that you need to be cautious all year long with record storage as well. The team at Crown Information Management stands ready to help you and your company securely store records and destroy documents and hard drives, among other services. Learn more when you contact us today.
For secure, pest-free storage and easy and timely destruction of records, count on a SOC1 Level 2 Report,NAID AAA, and PCI Certified company. Call Crown Information Management at 800-979-9545 or contact us online to learn more about our document storage and shredding services.