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Protecting your information on Cyber Monday

November 28, 2016 06:26 AM

Police and security experts want you to take steps to stay safe while shopping online this Cyber Monday.

Marketing firm comScore predicts sales to hit $3.5 billion today.

Rick Mislan, who teaches Cybersecurity & Information Technology courses at Nazareth College and the Rochester Institute of Technology, told News10NBC that you don't only need to be aware of what information you're putting in online. He said that you also need to pay attention to where you're doing it.

Mislan reminds shoppers that you don't need to enter your Social Security number or your birthday to make a purchase online. He also suggests creating a strong password. Also, check to see that the website address begins with "https," to ensure that the website is secure.

"They're also targeting locations," Mislan said. "It's easy to shop at your Starbucks. It's easy to shop wherever you're at anymore with your mobile device. So also make sure you're connection is secure. You're entering in a password for a network that you know is trusted and is the one you're connecting to."

Geneseo Police also released these holiday shopping guidelines.

Too-Good-to-be-True Offers:
Always double check coupons and coupon codes because if it seems like the offer is too good to be true, it probably is. Always make sure the deal if from a legitimate company.

Postal Deliveries:
Keep an eye out for email or text alerts that let you know you have received a package from FedEx, UPS, or the U.S. Postal Service, but then ask for additional personal information. Do not give out any additional personal information; package and mail handling services such as these should not need it. Also, packages left outside may be easy targets for thieves. Make arrangements with the delivery company or with a friend to secure your holiday packages.  

Fake Refunds:
Always be wary of refund scams circulating the Internet. The scam could come as an email from what looks like Amazon, a hotel, or retail chain claiming there was a "wrong transaction." Always check bank statements and shopping history to verify where money is being spent. Do not click on links in emails or text messages to be refunded money you didn't spend for risk of infecting your device with malware.

The Grinch E-Card Greetings:
Malicious e-cards are sent by the millions to an unsuspecting inbox. Never open suspicious emails or e-cards sent from email addresses you don't recognize.

The Fake Gift Card Trick:
Fake gift cards are promoted through social media in effort to collect personal information that can be sold to cyber criminals. Always double check that if signing up for gift card raffles or drawings on fan pages, the page is affiliated with the actual company or organization.

Charity Tricksters:
The holiday season is synonymously known as the giving season, people who look to donate to charitable entities should always be aware and familiar with the organizations they are giving personal information and money to.

The Direct Message Scams:
Beware of direct message scams from fake social media profiles. If another social media user directly messages you with offers to sell, giveaway products or offer coupon codes, be careful before continuing communication and never pay up front.

Wi-Fi Hackers:
If you are planning on bringing your laptop or tablet to a public location, be very wary of connecting to a public Wi-Fi network. Holiday scammers have been reported to set up free Wi-Fi signals in public places to shop for credit card numbers. If you are using public Wi-Fi connections, please do not use your credit or debit card when doing so.

 

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