6 Tips to Stay Cyber Safe While Online Holiday Shopping

December 16, 2020

One of the greatest cultural shifts resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic is the way we shop and access goods and services. Never has it been more obvious than now, when the holiday rush to purchase the perfect gifts for our loved ones and salvage whatever normalcy we can from the holiday season is on almost everyone’s mind. But c

Although individuals tend to be the initial victim of online shopping attacks, users are increasingly doing online shopping on corporate devices or networks, leaving the enterprise extremely vulnerable. Companies and individual consumers alike should be aware of the risks of online shopping and the best practices to mitigate vulnerabilities, identify threats, and address attacks.

At home or at work, good cyber hygiene begins with awareness and education. Here are some online shopping tips to stay cyber secure this holiday season.

Shop on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certified Sites Only

Legitimate websites will always be encrypted with a Uniform Resource Locater (URL) that begins with “https:” and a padlock icon. An SSL certificate verifies an organization’s identity and ensures an encrypted connection between the website and the server. Without these security measures, cybercriminals can more easily access the personal information you enter on the website.

Use Your Credit Card

Your credit card or PayPal account offers more protection if you are the victim of a cyber-attack because they are not directly linked to your bank account and provide insurance for theft. All in all, these options are far less risky than your debit card to use when online shopping.

Update Your Devices and Software

Cybercriminals exploit known vulnerabilities in apps and devices in order to gain access to networks and/or steal sensitive data. Before making any transactions, ensure the apps and devices you use are running the most current software to ensure vulnerabilities are addressed and patched.

Avoid Public WiFi and HotSpots

While convenient, public networks are usually not secure. If you must use one to make a purchase, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to keep your information protected.

Verify Email Offers and Shipping Confirmations

Avoid clicking on links sent by email. Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated when developing email phishing scams to collect your sensitive information or install malware on your devices. Whenever possible, go to the company website to confirm promotions and to check the status of your online orders.

Use Your Personal Device 

It is becoming increasingly common for employees to use corporate devices for personal purposes like online shopping. While doing so may be convenient, this can lead to both individuals and enterprises being vulnerable to cyberattacks. To mitigate this risk, enterprises can ensure employees are aware of cybersecurity protocols and employees can do their best to separate the use of personal and corporate devices.

The holiday season can be chaotic and distracting in the best of years, but in a year that has seen a significant increase in cybercriminal activity and has had more than its fair share of distractions, we encourage both individuals and enterprises to maintain vigilance and practice good cybersecurity hygiene as you celebrate this holiday season.  

To learn more about how Herjavec Group is advancing the security profiles of enterprise organizations around the world, click here.

About Herjavec Group

Dynamic entrepreneur Robert Herjavec founded Herjavec Group in 2003 to provide cybersecurity products and services to enterprise organizations. We have been recognized as one of the world’s most innovative cybersecurity operations leaders, and excel in complex, multi-technology environments. Our service expertise includes Advisory Services, Technology Architecture & Implementation, Identity Services, Managed Security Services, Threat Management and Incident Response. Herjavec Group has offices and Security Operations Centers across the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

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