Ah, Cyber Monday. Back again and better than ever, some might say.
The perfect time to stock up on stationary supplies or order those swivel chairs you’ve been eyeing to spruce up the office.
But keep in mind—with great deals, comes even greater risk on Cyber Monday.
Take the extra steps to protect your business, identity, and livelihood by with these important safety precautions when shopping this Cyber Monday.
How to Shop Safely on Cyber Monday?
- Shop on secure connections (https)
- Update your computer/device’s methods for cybersecurity
- Avoid using a public computer, network, or WIFI
- Only shop on malware-protected devices
- Use unique passwords/logins when shopping online
- Secure your mobile phone
- Watch out, and don’t fall for e-mail scams
- Turn on “multi-factor authentication” when possible
- Be mindful of clicking “too-good-to-be-true” links
- Shop on trusted sites, from trusted vendors only
Shop on Secure Connections
When you’re shopping online, one of the most important things to keep your eye out for is whether or not the connection is secure.
The two easiest ways to recognize if you are shopping on a secure connection are checking for:
- The padlock icon
- " HTTPS" in the URL
Both indicators communicate that your connection is safe, meaning you can feel more at ease when it comes time to check out and enter your credit card information. Should you want to check your account balance through online banking, it is imperative that the padlock symbol is present.
Update Your Device’s Methods for Cybersecurity
Before shopping, make sure that whatever device you plan on using is armed with the latest methods for cybersecurity. Be certain to update any anti-virus or malware protection software on your device to ensure that it’s protecting it to full capacity. This means updating and installing the latest security patches.
Avoid Using a Public Computer, Network, or WIFI
Especially when you’re shopping with a business credit card, you don’t want to be using a public computer, network, or WIFI. By doing this, you’re putting your business at even greater risk, as the chances grow that an outside hacker could breach the network, or the next person to use the public computer could gain access to cached information.
Only Shop on Malware Protected Devices
Save yourself the trouble, if the device you plan on shopping from has no means of cybersecurity then don’t input your business’ credit card or confidential information. Not having malware protection opens the door for viruses to infiltrate the device, and capture information that could threaten the livelihood of your business.
Use Unique Passwords/Logins When Shopping Online
When shopping online, many stores offer the option to create an account for return visitors to keep a file of their information. If you’re going to do this you should first make sure that you create a login that is separate for your business, and craft a unique password that others would not be able to guess.
Secure Your Mobile Phone
It is equally, if not more important to have your cell phone secured if you plan to shop on your phone. Especially in the instance of using a business cell phone, where confidential calls, e-mails and texts may be transferred, having your phone secured with anti-malware software will help keep your business and clients safe.
Watch Out for E-Mail Scams
E-mail scams are everywhere — don’t fall for them. Around this season, businesses are sending a great deal of e-mails to inform customers of their upcoming deals. Hackers take advantage of this time to craft their own look-alike e-mails and advertisements to capture confidential information from customers thinking they are providing it to a familiar business. If you receive an e-mail that looks even the slightest bit questionable, trust your gut and report it as spam. Better safe than sorry.
Turn on Multifactor Authentication
Multifactor authentication is always a great feature to be using whenever you are able. Many social networks, e-mail accounts, and even banks provide the option for multifactor authentication, a function where follow-up confirmation is requested to gain access to a particular account or service. This gives you an added cushion to prevent outsiders from accessing your personal accounts.
Be Mindful of “too-good-to-be-true” Links/Ads
Don’t fall subject to an online scam by feeding into link bait. The ads or links that seem almost too good to be true, usually are. To find out specific deals from your favorite vendors, go directly to their trusted domain and learn more there rather than in an unsuspecting ad. Infected ad banners can cause a serious threat to your device, and the confidential data stored on it.
Shop from Trusted Vendors, on Trusted Websites Only
Cyber Monday is where hackers come out to play. No matter how enticing the deal may seem from a random website you’ve never visited before that claims to be selling the exact product that you wanted from somewhere else at a fraction of the cost—don’t go for it. You don’t know where your business’ credit card information is being stored, or who might have access to it.
Protect Your Business All Year, Not Just Today!
Cyber Monday is one of the most targeted days of the year for hackers, there is no doubt about it. But why protect your business for one day, when you could protect it for the entire year? BRS has a variety of premier IT programs, from Network & Desktop Support, to IT Assessments, CIO to Go, and of course IT Security. The Brave River Solutions IT Managed Services Team are expert technicians, trained to tackle and resolve any technical issue occurring within your business. Contact us today, and let us create an IT support package personalized to you and your business needs.