Use Safe Passwords, Avoid Public Wifi and Other Tips for Safe Shopping on Cyber Monday, Dec 2nd, 2019
According to Deloitte’s Annual Holiday Survey of Consumers, shoppers of all age groups are more likely to shop on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday. Given the ubiquitous nature of retail apps and social shopping opportunities, it’s easy to see why people would choose e-commerce over battling the Black Friday lines. However, as holiday shoppers prepare to crack open their laptops or login to their Amazon app on Cyber Monday, December 2nd, it’s critical that they be mindful of online shopping security considerations.
Chief among these is password reuse. It’s incredibly convenient to use the same passwords across multiple sites, but this is a huge security mistake that can easily lead to credit card and identity theft. With new breach data available on the Dark Web on a daily basis, cybercriminals have a virtually unlimited supply of exposed credentials they can use to try to access consumer accounts. To provide a scope of the problem, some of our retail clients have seen about 4% of their customer’s monitored credentials go bad within one month. To protect those customers, they often prompt those users to reset their password or re-enter sensitive information to ensure that a cybercriminal is not using the account.
This underscores how critical it is that people use unique, strong passwords for all of their online accounts. There are numerous password manager solutions that can help people remember their various credentials, so there really is no excuse for reusing passwords across multiple sites.
As such, your first step in Cyber Monday planning should be logging into each e-commerce site or app and ensuring a strong, unique password is used for each respective account. If you need help, check out Enzoic’s free compromised password tool to determine whether your proposed password is safe.
Grabbing a hot Cyber Monday deal while in line at Starbucks might be the pinnacle of modern convenience, but it’s a risky security practice. As a general rule, if you’re not at home or at work, you should use a VPN to access WiFi and be very cautious about which accounts you connect to. It’s easy for cybercriminals to set up spoofing WiFi and access your sensitive data without a VPN in place.
Review Your Accounts and Statements
It is important to monitor your online accounts and review your credit card statements throughout the year, but it is especially critical during the holiday season and after Cyber Monday. Review your bank, credit card and financial statements regularly to ensure no one else is using your information. With www.AnnualCreditReport.com, you can get a free credit report to see if there is any unfamiliar activity. You can also sign up for an identity theft monitoring product to get alerts if someone is using your identity.
Additional online shopping best practices
- Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all accounts—or invest in a third-party authentication solution
- Sign up for an identity theft protection service to be alerted to changes to your credit card or personal information on the Dark Web
- Install anti-malware and anti-virus software on your computer
In our heightened identity theft environment, it’s critical that shoppers are aware of the above security considerations and take the necessary steps to address them. After all, what good is snagging a killer deal on a Cyber Monday must-have gift if it results in the headache of disputing credit card charges a criminal made on your account?