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The Dangers of Online Shopping During the Holidays | High Desert Personal Computers

The Dangers of Online Shopping During the Holidays

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday already behind us, retailers across the United States are looking forward to the rest of the holiday shopping season, which is poised to break sales records previously set in 2016. On Cyber Monday alone, sales were expected to surpass the $3.5 billion mark, which is what happens when 49 percent of American shoppers go online to find deals.

The holiday shopping season is followed with great interest by economist and market analysts, but there is another professional sector that is keeping a close eye on this annual retail extravaganza. Information security experts are concerned about the steady rise of malicious hacking during the holidays, and they expect hackers to be very active this year.

If you plan on getting some holiday shopping done online this year, you should also plan on staying safe. At A Plus Computers in Apple Valley, our information security experts recommend that you take the following precautions:

  • Use only systems you can actually trust. When was the last time you updated your antivirus software? When was that last time you conducted a full scan of your desktop or laptop? If you do not trust your computer to be 100 percent safe for online shopping, feel free to bring it to A Plus Computers for an evaluation.
  • With the above in mind, you should never do any online shopping at internet caf├ęs or public terminals. Hackers are known to install keylogging malware as well as wireless data sniffers on public Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be very careful when checking your email during the holidays. Phishing scams tend to multiply in the days before Thanksgiving, and they tend to continue until late in December. Never click or tap on attachments that seem suspicious, and the same goes for links that you do not fully trust.
  • The browser you utilize for online shopping should support protocols such as HTTPS and secure socket layer. Always look for icons that look like locks and keys, and keep your browser up-to-date. Check the settings of your antivirus software for browser integration.
  • Practice good password and PIN safety by changing them every month; this is something that you can turn into a habit by using a solid password manager.

If you are in doubt about the security of your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, you should first make sure that the device is protected before getting online shopping or banking done during the holidays. Contact A Plus Computers for more information.