US Department of Homeland Security CISA Warns of Holiday Shopping Scams

For Everyone

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages everyone to be aware of potential online holiday shopping scams. People enjoy online shopping for its convenience however, it’s also an easy way for attackers to gain access to your personal information. Attackers can create malicious websites or email messages that appear to be legitimate online stores or falsely representing themselves as charities, convincing you to supply personal and financial information.

Here are three ways you can protect yourself:
• Do business with reputable vendors – Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor.
• Make sure your information is encrypted – An easy way to tell if your financial information is safe is to check that the site begins with https and has a closed padlock symbol to the right of the address bar or at the bottom of the window. Some attackers try to trick users by adding a fake padlock icon, so make sure that the icon is in the appropriate location for your browser.
• Use a credit card – There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges, but you may not have the same level of protection for your debit cards. Additionally, because a debit card draws money directly from your bank account, unauthorized charges could leave you with insufficient funds to pay other bills. You can minimize potential damage by using a single, lowlimit credit card to make your online purchases. Also use a credit card when using a payment gateway such as PayPal, Google Wallet or Apple Pay.

For the full article and additional tips from CISA, click here.

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