COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Looking forward to your annual black Friday and cyber Monday shopping marathon? You should know that fraudsters and cyber thieves are waiting for you to start shopping!
Every year more people are doing their shopping online and at least half of all purchases will be made using a cell phone or a tablet. With this in mind, this is a good time to make sure that your information, your accounts, and your devices stay safe while you shop.
Try using this checklist:
- Use different passwords for frequently visited websites. (This is especially important because of the Equifax data breach.)
- Make sure that your devices (computers, cells and tablets) have the recommended security software and settings and that you have installed all updates.
- Use a credit card, not a debit card. The federal laws that govern credit card purchases offer you more protection than laws that govern debit card purchases.
- If you are shopping online, DON'T use a public Wi-Fi network. Use only Wi-Fi that is private and secure.
- Be careful of ads that appear on social media sites. Check out the business before clicking on a link or attachment.
- Use caution if you see pop up ads that offer big Black Friday discounts. These may be phishing attempts.
- Enable 2-factor authentication for your apps.
- If you are using your cell or tablet, use the business's app instead of your browser.
- Make sure that the website you are using for an online purchase shows a padlock symbol in your browser window. The website address should also begin with: 'https://'
- If a warning about a site's security certificate appears on a site you are visiting, don't provide your personal or financial information to that site.
- Purchase from businesses that you know are legitimate.
- Review your bank and credit card statements carefully to make sure that you don't find any suspicious charges or fees on them. If you do spot something that you haven't authorized, notify your bank or credit card company immediately.
- Make sure that you remove all personal or financial information from old devices before you discard them.
The holidays are a time to enjoy and have fun, so please stay safe out there!