For online shoppers, today is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year. Hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent online over the course of the day, with Amazon promising “hundreds of thousands of deals.”
We all know Amazon is a trusted brand, making Prime Day much safer than, say, Cyber Monday. Still, as consumers in this digital age, we open doorways to cyber attacks no matter what website we use when shopping online.
With that in mind, here are some quick tips to ensure a safe Prime Day experience:
- Avoid public computers when making a purchase online.
- Privatize your WiFi. From shops and retail stores to cafes and restaurants, access to the Internet with little or no cost is in tune with our connected way of life. But when it comes to shopping online, all the convenience that comes with public WiFi can be overshadowed by the cyber risks associated. You’d be surprised at how unsecure many hotspots actually are and how easy they are to attack. So today, only go wireless if you access the Web over a virtual private network (VPN). Now is also not a good time to demo a new hotspot you’re unfamiliar with.
- Protect your device. Anything that connects to the Internet, including your smartphone, tablet, or PC, should be protected during a heavy use period like Prime Day. With cyber criminals ready to pounce, it’s important that you’re running the latest versions of your device’s security software and applications.
- Use credit cards and secure payment services instead of debit cards. As a general rule, credit cards offer consumers additional protection.
- Lock down your login. Enable the strongest authentication tools available, and keep your passwords sophisticated by using a series of complex letters, numbers, and symbols. Stay away from integrating your address, birthday, or Social Security number when creating or updating passwords.
Most importantly – when you shop, don’t forget to bring your brain along! These are common sense tips, but you’d be surprised at how lax we can become when we haven’t experienced a cyber attack. And, remember, don’t get sucked into buying things that you don’t really need just because you’re afraid to miss out. Deals come and go every day!
And with that… Good luck and Happy Shopping!
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