Cyber Monday is the unofficial kick off to the online shopping season with retailers offering amazing deals to lure holiday shopper to their websites. Unfortunately, the ease of online shopping can create vulnerability for your bank and credit card accounts.
Between the email blasts and social media posts offering up amazing deals, it’s easy to get pulled into a hacker’s trap. To help keep you and your personal information safe this season, we’ve pulled together our top tips for cyber safety at home and at work:
Don’t Reuse Passwords
- Reusing the same password for all of your accounts means a hacker only needs to figure out one password to gain access to everything. They simply reenter your password across all accounts. We know passwords can be hard to remember, but mixing up the passwords, using at least 10 characters, and having a combination of numbers, letters and symbols can greatly reduce your risk of exposure.
Sign Up for Transaction Alerts
- Nearly all financial institutions offer the ability to set up alerts on your debit and credit cards when a charge or transaction has occurred. During the holidays this can seem overwhelming as there’s A LOT of activity, but it’s worth the extra monitoring to avoid thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges later. If you see a transaction you know you didn’t make, you can immediately flag your financial institution.
Don’t Connect to Public WiFi
- You’re in line at Starbucks browsing your emails. You see a stellar deal that you can’t pass up, so you go to the website to make the purchase. Before you enter your credit card information, make sure you’re not connected to public WiFi. Most public WiFi networks aren’t password protected – which means anyone can tap into the network and monitor your activity. Wait to complete the purchase until you’ve connected to a secured, password protected network.
While this article is focusing on Cyber Monday, these cyber security tips can be used year-round on your personal and professional online accounts. In today’s digital world online users need to be diligent about their cyber security 24/7.