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Cybersecurity Quick Tips

How to Stay “Cyber Safe” during Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday

Simply put, this year’s deals on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are predicted to have Americans spending approximately $929 billion, according to the New York-based market research firm eMarketer.

Unfortunately, this expectation means that millions of employees will likely shop online from their company-provided work computers, which will evidently cause their corporation’s computer networks to be at higher risk of cyber attacks and malware.

Therefore, the upcoming holiday season will be an undeniably merry time for hackers to attempt around 50 million global fraud attempts on online shoppers. Such attempts include credit card fraud, bank account intrusion, and identity theft.

Thus, below are some basic “cyber safe” tips to assist said shoppers in arming themselves from becoming cyber attack victims.

First, more than 50% of cyber fraud attacks occur through phishing emails that are found in our spam folders. These emails offer tempting deals while impersonating major retailers (CVS, Best Buy, etc.) to try persuading people to click on malicious links and/or attachments. Generally, do not click on the aforementioned links and/or attachments.

Second, most cyber thieves reside in developing countries and frequently utilize translation software that tends to misinterpret words, so observation of many spelling errors in discount-focused emails should be a red flag of fraud with an outcome of deleting these emails as soon as possible.

Third, emails discussing multiple coupon codes and discounts should lead someone to cross-check via search engine results the customer service contact phone number as well as details included. Usually, the phone number mentioned is related to a scam line that will entice a person into providing his or her credit card information and/or remote computer access to cause damage. Evidently, do not call these phone numbers or give sensitive data to untrusted sources.

Fourth, one should seek out several genuine reviews against any product found on any retailer’s website. Legitimate reviews more thoroughly explain the given product’s function as well as its sales report summary. In other words, purchasing a product should only occur after reading an adequate amount of real consumer reviews and/or ratings beforehand, generally speaking.

Finally, it is always recommended to consistently keep track of all bank accounts on a bi-weekly or even weekly basis. Moreover, check that all digital transactions require two-factor authentication at all times. Even better, registering for bank-related text message and/or email alerts can possibly stop cybercriminals before more harm results while additionally providing peace of mind to customers.

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