Staying Safe on Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Who doesn’t love a good deal? Black Friday and Cyber Monday are some of the only days of the year you can get those expensive pair of jeans and brand new computer speakers for a fraction of the price. A recent IDC survey found that 41% of this year’s shoppers will rely on smartphone research to make purchase decision this shopping season. As we commence our holiday shopping mission, it’s important to stay safe while shopping in the stores as well as online.
Black Friday: Don’t let your smartphone be the next victim
For those of you who are shopping adrenaline junkies and decide to camp out overnight to get that “too good to be true deal on a 65” 3D LCD TV – be aware. There are looming dangers in the cyber world, even for those not buying through their smartphone.
Unsecure Wi-Fi Networks: Roughly 6 in 10 people will use free Wi-Fi this Black Friday. Shoppers this year should be cautious of those unsecure Wi-Fi networks because they can leave the information on your mobile device exposed for people to steal. By hopping onto free Wi-Fi networks you are opening the back door on your phone for cyber criminals to come in and access your personal information.
Lost or Stolen Phone: With all of the chaos surrounding the initial shopping rush, you might lose track of your phone. Take precautions and have a plan in place in case it does get lost or stolen. Make sure that you have the ability to locate or even remotely wipe the data off your smartphone in case it falls victim to torn pockets or sticky fingers. Back up your contacts, photos and videos so they are never lost along with your phone.
Cyber Monday: Practice safe shopping online
Cybercriminals could not be more giddy in anticipation of the upcoming holidays with over 48% of Americans planning to shop Cyber Monday sales (45% via personal computer, 10% via mobile device).
Phishing Scams: Before you open an email coupon or type your credit card information into an online forum make sure you protect your personal information. An email might appear to be from a big name department store but if they go beyond just informing you about an upcoming sale they might be phishing for (tricking you into divulging) financial or personal information.
Unsecure Websites: There has been a 20% increase since August in suspicious URLs, with a vast number of hosting malware. Almost 64% of these newly discovered suspect URLs are located in North America. Before making a purchase online check to make sure the URL is secure. One way to understand this is if the URL starts with “HTTPS” it is a secure site. URLs that start with “HTTP” leave your information and mobile device vulnerable to mining your personal information.
This holiday season don’t fall victim to unsafe practices while shopping. Make sure to be smart and aware when shopping in the stores and online.