AUGUSTA, GA. (WFXG) -Millions are shopping for deals in person and online this weekend. According to multiple studies, shoppers will spend a record amount of money this Cyber Monday. Experts say It’s Important to be mindful of hackers when shopping online.
Data released by Adobe Analytic indicates this year’s Cyber Monday sales will be the largest in U.S. history-- an estimated $9.4 billion will be spent during the holiday weekend increasing last year’s total by about 19%.
The CEO of Rendition Infosec, Brandon McCrillis says, "Be careful of any pop-ups especially if you’re browsing a legitimate site.” He says scammers will steal your personal information if you’re not careful, especially on Cyber Monday.
If you’re weary of being compromised online, McCrillis recommends using private tabs that don’t save your information and installing ad blockers. Another tip he says can help you in the long run, is to use a credit card when making online purchases instead of a debit card.
122 million Americans are expected to shop online today, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. If you’re one of them, here are some safety tips released by the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
- Only shop at trusted websites. If you find a gift at a price that sounds too good to be true, it may be. Some sites exist just to collect credit card information and offer rock-bottom prices to lure shoppers.
- Don't use public Wi-Fi when shopping. Cyber thieves like public Wi-Fi because they can intercept shoppers' signals and collect credit card information and other personal data, like names and addresses. Consider installing a VPN, which creates a secure connection to shield you from hackers.
- Use strong passwords or passphrases. Use a complex set of at least 10 lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, symbols, or random words and numbers. Don't use personal information others can guess such as your kids' names or birthdays. Never use one password for multiple accounts.
- Use secure websites. Ensure the URL begins with "https" and includes a padlock symbol before providing your credit card information.
- Use credit, not debit cards. You get the best liability protection when you use a credit card. Federal regulations say you don't have to pay if a cyber thief racks up unauthorized charges while the credit card company investigates. Most credit card companies offer $0 liability for fraudulent purchases. Some banks offer virtual credit cards, which use randomly issued numbers to link to your account.
- Make sure your computer is protected. Always keep your security software, apps, and computer's operating system updated for maximum protection.
- Save your records. This includes receipts, warranties, cancellation policies, order confirmations, and delivery details. Check your bank statements for unusual charges. Report any fraudulent activity immediately to your bank or card issuer.