Do you know how to protect yourself shopping online?
Even if you don’t plan to shop Black Friday, scammers grow bolder when they sense opportunity.
Experts estimate that phishing attacks – the scams where fake emails are sent to steal your information or trick you – increased over 600% during covid-19.
To protect yourself this holiday season:
• Monitor your accounts. Many banks and credit card companies allow you to set up alerts when accounts are used, buying exceeds a certain amount, account balances reach another amount and more.
• If you don’t need up to the minute updates, be sure to check your balances and transactions weekly. Vigilance will allow you to notify your bank early. That can help lower any damage done.
•Be careful with email. Don’t click links in emails you are sent. If you get an email with an attachment or even embedded photos, be cautious. Links can take you to sites with malicious codes or sites that steal your information. Viruses and malware can be hidden in email formats. You don’t have to open them to be victimized.
• Lock down your accounts using passwords with numbers and letters for online banking and email. On social media accounts, ‘sign in with’ features let you use a single login for multiple sites. This will allow the site to confirm your identity via email, text message or phone call if they detect you are signing in from a different device than the one you normally use.
Next week: When scams get personal