Seasonal Online Shopping

Today, online shopping is a common choice for most consumers, and people with malevolent intent are taking advantage of this new opportunity.

Black Friday has long been a staple in American consumer culture. And in 2005, the term "Cyber Monday" was coined referring to the spike of online retail purchasing the Monday after Black Friday. Many scammers take advantage of people on the hunt for the “best deal” during the shopping season. 

Here are some of the most common scams attackers will use:
  • Social media profiles imitating big businesses.
  • Phishing via phone, text, and e-mail.
  • Websites for "Cyber Monday Deals" that misdirect consumers into putting in their personal information.
  • Mobile apps imitating the apps of big retailers or offering special deals, while really installing malware.
  • Fake charities, taking advantage of people’s increased desire to donate during the holiday season.
  • Fraudulent gift cards.
Learn how to stay safe while shopping online by reviewing our security tips:
  • Stick to credible and well-known sellers.
  • Talk to your bank to add additional security measures for online purchases (like a second pin or text notifications).
  • Only use sites with SSL or https in the website address.
  • Remember: online purchases will never need your social security number.
  • When downloading apps, get them directly from the retailer's legitimate website, or be careful to check the number of downloads and reviews.
  • Do not use public Wi-Fi when making purchases. Never give out secure information on an unsecured network.
  • Monitor your bank and credit card statements regularly, especially if you have been shopping online, to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.

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: