Be on the Lookout for Black Friday/Cyber Monday Cyberattacks and Scams

Be on the Lookout for Black Friday/Cyber Monday Cyberattacks and Scams

M.C. Millman

As Black Friday gives way to Cyber Monday - shopping securely is a must to avoid malicious attempts to access or damage a computer or network system. 

Cyberattacks are only increasing as scammers grow more crafty. As such an attack can lead to the loss of money or the theft of personal, financial, and medical information, it's important to protect yourself to avoid damage to your reputation, financial security, and safety. A cyberattack can block your access or delete personal information and accounts and complicate your employment or business services.

Cyberattacks can occur in multiple ways, including accessing your personal computer, mobile phone, and any internet and Bluetooth-connected devices. 

Protecting against cyberattacks includes limiting the personal information you share online. 

Change privacy settings, and do not use location features. Keep software applications and operating systems up-to-date. Create strong passwords using upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. 

Use a password manager and when available, choose two method verification. 

Be on the alert for suspicious activity, especially if you are asked to do something immediately. If an offer sounds too good to be true or requires personal information, do not click.

Be sure to protect your home and/or business using a secure internet connection and Wi-Fi network, and change passwords regularly.

Do not share PINs or passwords. When available, use biometric scans such as a fingerprint scanner or a facial recognition feature.

Check account statements and credit reports regularly.

Be cautious about sharing personal financial information, including bank account numbers, Social Security number, and credit card numbers. 

Make sure to use secure sites only when sharing personal information. (A secure site begins with https://.) Do not use sites with invalid certificates. Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) creates a more secure connection.

Use antivirus and anti-malware along with firewalls to block threats.

Do not click on links in texts or emails if they are from unknown numbers or addresses. 

Remember, the government will not call, text, or contact you via social media about money owed.

These tips are not just for Black Friday and Cyber Monday but are important to keep in mind year-round. 

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