Stay Safe this Cyber Monday: A Guide to Avoiding Online Scams During the Holiday Season November 27, 2023 As the holiday season approaches, consumers eagerly flock to the internet, bypassing the chaos of never-ending checkout lines, and securing the best deals that Cyber Monday has to offer. As we gear up for another round of Cyber Monday madness, the key to ensuring a safe and secure shopping experience lies in prioritizing your cybersecurity. In this blog post, we will delve into essential tips and best practices to keep you cyber-safe while navigating the digital aisles this holiday season. 1. Browse securely. It is crucial to stick to reputable and well-known websites when making online purchases. Look for “https://” in the URL and check for the padlock icon in the address bar of your browser to verify the site is secure. Steer clear of making any purchases over public Wi-Fi networks, opting instead for a password-protected and encrypted Wi-Fi connection to fortify your online shopping fortress. 2. Set strong passwords. Strengthen your online accounts with secure passwords. This is the first line of defense against cyber fraudsters. Avoid using the same password across multiple platforms, especially with easily identifiable information. To make passwords more complex, consider creating a sentence or unique phrase for an added layer of security. 3. Be aware of copycat sites. Scammers often create fake websites or emails that look eerily similar to the legitimate addresses of well-known companies and retailers. Be vigilant when online shopping, looking for minor misspellings of company names, counterfeit products, or too-good-to-be-true deals. Stick to familiar websites whenever possible to minimize the risk of falling victim to these deceptive schemes. 4. Watch out for email phishing scams. Be skeptical of unexpected emails, especially those with urgent messages, deals, or requests for personal information. Thoroughly review all email addresses, links, and exercise caution with attachments. It is important to remember that legitimate retailers or shipping companies will not send offers, promo codes, or tracking numbers as email attachments that are required to be downloaded. 5. Monitor your account. Always keep an eye on your bank account statements for any unauthorized transactions. Regularly double-check your online banking transactions and compare monthly statements. The earlier you detect and report any fraudulent activity, the better chance you have of minimizing potential damage. This Cyber Monday, as the digital shopping carts overflow with tempting deals, don’t let the excitement overshadow the importance of safeguarding your cybersecurity. By incorporating these tips and continuing to stay vigilant, you can confidently and safely online shop this holiday season.