IT Security - Staying Safe & Secure During Black Friday / Cyber Monday
The Thanksgiving season, particularly Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have ushered in a decidedly digital shift to the post-Thanksgiving shopping experience. Shoppers are no longer lined up outside storefronts to pounce on limited goodies at the stroke of midnight. Instead, we sit poised above our keyboards or smartphones watching for deal notifications and pop-ups to alert us to great deals on electronics, games, and other holiday gifts.
Here are some reminders on how to stay safe and secure during this Thanksgiving shopping rush.
Coupons, Special Deals, and Alerts
If you absolutely must sign up for something to receive a coupon, a newsletter, or an alert of some kind, do NOT use any of your primary email addresses. Instead, sign up for a free Outlook, Gmail, or Yahoo account.
Sign In Options
Many websites will engage you for incredible deals by encouraging you to “connect” to them via your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account. This should be avoided.
If you are logged in and shopping on your Amazon, Walmart, or Target account then you are probably pretty safe to continue shopping and buying as per your normal practices. It’s when you don’t know what you want that it starts to get dangerous.
To combat this, you’ll want to take advantage of the Incognito (Chrome) or Private (Firefox) modes of your browser. You can typically just right click the browser icon and choose to launch this mode.
Be wary. Especially this Year
In addition to “normal” scams you will run across this year, be prepared for enticing links revolving around the COVID pandemic. Fashion masks, ways to prevent COVID, social distancing “hacks”, etc. can all be twisted to lure you into websites that will harvest the data you are providing through your web browser.
Practicing the above precautions will help you have a safer Thanksgiving holiday. Doing so on your personal phone, tablet, or computer will prevent any of these pitfalls from affecting your business computer, potentially shutting down your livelihood or source of income.
Stay Safe and Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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