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How Consumers & Merchants Can Stay Safe Online This Holiday Season

Tis’ the Season for Hackers

Holidays are one of the most enjoyable times of year filled with family, friends, food, and shopping! Everyone wants to find the perfect gift for the people on their list and they are looking for sales on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and any other ones that stand out. Also, this is one of the biggest times of the year for hackers to take advantage. As the holiday season approaches us, it’s important as always to stay safe shopping online. Not only are the consumers at risk, but also the online merchants as well! We have compiled a list of tips for both the consumer and the online merchant to help you avoid the scammy hackers and enjoy the rest of your holiday season.

Tips for Consumers and Merchants to Remain Safe Online this Holiday Season: 

*Avoid Public Wi-Fi: online shopping or banking should never be done over public wi-fi. Even if the public wi-fi location is a restaurant, mall, doctor’s office, etc and asks you for a password. Never assume a public wi-fi is safe! You do not want to enter your personal or financial information into a website where hackers can grab it!

*Use a Credit Card: When you shop online it’s always best to use a credit card over a debit card if possible because if it did get stolen, credit cards are not linked directly to your checking account!

*Do Not Save Information: Thinking it could save you some time the next you shop? Sure it could but not the worth the risk of it getting leaked through a data breach or something. Always re-enter information and never save it.

*Shop from Companies You Know and Trust: It’s best to stick with the ones that you’ve done business with before or that are well known. If you do decide to shop from a new company, make sure their URL starts with https as that is an added level of security when providing personal and financial information. Also, look for reviews for the company if you have never done business with them.

*Beware of Phishing Emails: have you noticed an increase in emails yet? Well, it’s the time of the year where your inbox will be flooded with offers and all sorts of sales and such. Hackers are using these emails too to try and convince you to open an attachment in the email or click on the links. These attachments and links can contain viruses though that can infect your device and steal your personal and financial information. Beware of this when you are encountering holiday emails and make sure you are checking everything! Also, be careful with emails asking you to verify your account and provide login info as this is typically a hacker. Real businesses will not call or email you directly for this information. If you ever are not sure, call the numbers on the back of your cards or the numbers on your statements to verify with the actual business.

*Run Software and Antivirus Updates: this is a big point that many of us can neglect. Whether you are a consumer or merchant, make sure your system and network are ready to go. Updates help fix any glitches in software and antivirus so it’s important to make sure you run your updates as soon as they are available.

Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

We hope these tips will be a help to you and protect you this holiday season (and anytime for that matter) while you are shopping online or have an online business. Stay vigilant and make sure you are always double-checking everything when purchasing online. Another great resource to check out for all things related to holiday shopping and cybersecurity would be the FBI website here. The FBI has a collection of articles and audio files in regards to this topic as well!

If you are a business looking for cybersecurity assistance, feel free to contact us at Triada Networks today to set up a free consultation. Click here to schedule a time. We would be happy to go over your cybersecurity practices and see if it’s a great fit for us to assist you. Start off the holiday season and 2020 with the very best cybersecurity with Triada Networks.