The winter holidays: a time for festivities and … fraud-tivities.
Gift Card Grab
Never, ever enter your credit card or other sensitive information to claim a gift card that comes via email.
Never Buy Over Public WiFi
Shopping over public WiFi means your credit card, bank account or login data could get picked up by a cyber thief. Use a VPN.
If a coupon deal seems too good to be true, then assume it is. End of story. Next.
- Change the passwords for all your sensitive accounts.
- No two passwords should be the same.
- Passwords should be a random salad of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols – at least 12 total.
- A password manager can ease the hassle.
Two Step Verification
- A login attempt will send a one-time numerical code to the user’s phone.
- The user must type that code into the account login field to gain access.
- Prevents unauthorized logins unless the unauthorized user has your phone AND login credentials.
Think Before You Click
- Never click links that arrive in your in-box that supposedly linking to a reputable retailer’s site announcing a fantastic sale.
- Kohl’s, Macy’s, Walmart and other giant retailers don’t do this. And if they do, ignore them.
- So who does this? Scammers. They hope you’ll click the link because it’ll download a virus.
- The other tactic is that the link will take you to a mock spoofed site of the retailer, lure you into making a purchase, and then a thief will steal your credit card data.
Bank and Credit Card Security
- Find out what kind of security measures your bank has and then use them such as caps on charges or push notifications.
- Consider using a virtual credit card number that allows a one-time purchase. It temporarily replaces your actual credit card number and is worthless to a thief.
Forget the online ad that promises $50/hour or $100 for completing a survey. If you really need money then get a real job.
For financial health: Every month review all your financial statements to see if there is any suspicious activity. Even an unknown charge for $1.89 is suspicious, because sometimes, crooks make tiny purchases to gage the account holder’s suspicion index. Report these immediately.
Https vs. http
- The “s” at the end means the site is secure.
- Do all your shopping off of https sites.
- In line with this, update your browser as well.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.