WEST MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD)– Cyber Monday is only one day away, and Adobe analytics forecast 12.7 billion dollars in sales for this year’s Cyber Monday alone. This is 35 percent more than last year.
Before you cash out on those Cyber Monday deals, it’s important that those amazing prices don’t actually cloud your judgment. It’s always important to pay attention to signs that your online shopping transactions are secure.
“Nowadays your own personal information is worth so much money it doesn’t matter who you are, people want to get access to it. So you have to take steps to protect that and not be an easy victim out there,” said Garret Wagnor, CPA.
According to Norton software, before entering a credit card number, or any confidential information, make sure that the URL in your browser address bar turns green or begins with HTTPS and not HTTP. These are indicators that your session is secure and that the site is using encryption to protect your personal data.
Next, always use strong passwords and update them regularly. Never use the same password for multiple accounts. This is especially important for accounts that contain your personal information.
Using two-factor authentication is encouraged and could stop a hack before it happens.
“You need a strong password to start with and then that second factoring is usually a text to your cellphone. That way even if they steal your password, maybe your password is a week or password 1, you think you are fine. It’s going to text your cell phone for a secondary code to help keep you more secure,” said Wagnor.
Hacking is a global business and they will always find the easiest way to make money.
During the holiday season, you could receive emails advertising unbelievably great deals. Beware, because these could be phishing attempts, and the email’s links could direct you to a bogus website built to capture personal information. Avoid clicking on links and downloading files from any unknown sources. Phishing emails and websites often contain typos or spelling and grammatical mistakes.
“Be smart pay attention and for an easy one, google common passwords, while you’re watching this just google common passwords and if your password is listed there, change it immediately,” said Wagnor.
Now, scammers can also be found on social media platforms, like Facebook marketplace. If you are picking an item up that you bought, use an official “Safe Trade Station” like the West Monroe Police Department parking lot, which is under surveillance.