Back-to-School Cybershopping

The first day of school comes with not only anxiety but also targeted attacks. Parents and students are shopping around for the best deals while supplies may last, allowing many threats to be overlooked. This is the perfect time for scammers and thieves to target potential victims, offering school-related materials at unbelievable costs. Whether you are a student preparing for the return to school or a parent equipping your student with necessary supplies, you are at risk.

Follow the security tips below to stay safe during the back-to-school season:
  • Beware of offers that seem "too good to be true." Today, more and more consumers are shopping online for school supplies. While convenient, it can also be very risky. Many sites are promoting bargains that can be false and can use your personal information maliciously. In addition, scammers are using reputable sites to host malicious advertisements that can entice the consumer into redirecting to another page. For example, a student may log on to Facebook and see an ad selling a laptop for $50. Feeling curious, he or she may click on the ad and perhaps expose themselves to multiple attacks such as downloaded malware, which can include keylogging that will record everything typed into a computer.
  • Be cautious of advertisements sent through text. Thieves can send mass messages announcing that the recipient has won a back-to-school shopping spree and personal information is needed in order to obtain the prize. Unsuspicious of the sender, the "winner" will submit the sensitive information and leave themselves vulnerable to scams.
  • Do not share sensitive information with others unless it is absolutely necessary. 
  • Ensure that all passwords are strong and secured.
  • Monitor your account history for fraudulent charges.
  • Be vigilant against offers made via text message.

Have questions? We're here to help!

If you have questions about cybersecurity, or if you want to learn more about how to stay safe online, contact the Information Security Office (ISO) at: