Online Shopping

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.

Today, online shopping is a common choice for most consumers and people with malevolent intent are taking advantage of this new opportunity. 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 email
  • 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
The following tips will help you remain safe while shopping online:
  • Stick to credible and well-known sellers.
  • Talk to your bank to add additional security measures for online purchases (like a second pin).
  • 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 number of downloads and reviews.
  • Do not use public wifi when making purchases. Never give out secure information on an unsecured network.
  • Check your bank statements regularly, especially if you have been shopping online, to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.
  • Though many retailers advertise their "unbelievable sales," the old adage is still true for online holiday.

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: