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Online Shopping Safety Tips For the Holiday Season

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Holiday and Christmas Shopping – a time of year much-loved by cybercriminals. Shopping websites experience higher traffic volumes and process more payments as shoppers reach into their savings in the pursuit of those ‘must-have’ bargains.

People on holiday are also more likely to be using unsafe connections like mobile hotspots or public WiFi. These factors make it a great time for cybercrime activity.

Just like you wouldn’t leave your wallet or credit cards lying around, your digital information should be protected with the same amount of care.

Here are six easy ways to keep personal information safe this holiday shopping season:

Avoid clicking on ads to access websites

Criminals can build a doppelganger website to steal information, so always carefully check the URL of ads and make sure they’re legit.

Avoid using public Wi-Fi

Cybercriminals can spoof open access points at restaurants, hotels and airports to create false registration pages with password fields. This allows them to get hold of your regularly used e-mail and password combinations and use them on other sites.

Never pair your phone to a rental car

Never connect a phone with Bluetooth or USB to a rental car, as it can store personal information such as texts, phone numbers and GPS info, which can then be accessed by the next person who rents the car.

Make sure the shopping website you’re using is secure

When a website address uses https:// instead of http://, it indicates that it’s using a security certificate to protect information.

Close Bluetooth and WiFi connections

Always keep your phone locked and make sure you deactivate your Bluetooth and WiFi settings once you finish using the connection.

Don’t use airport USB charging stations

Public charging stations are notorious for allowing network access to connected devices so rather use your own power bank when travelling.

Keeping these tips in mind while you shop for family and friends this holiday season will help you stay safe. It’s also a good time to check in with your insurance broker to be sure that all the valuables you have bought are properly covered.

* This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice. 

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