How to Protect Yourself During the Holiday Shopping Season

Today’s topic talks about the holiday season.  Now that some of the holidays have come and gone for 2017, we need to talk about protecting yourself from online shopping scams.  The holiday season started with Thanksgiving, immediately followed by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Cyber Tuesday and Cyber Wednesday.  The web deals will continue all the way to the end of 2017.

News Reports show that 2017 set records for ordering products online.  This is the first year (2017) that orders from mobile devices exceeded those from personal computers on Cyber Monday.  It was the biggest online shopping day ever with over 6 billion dollars of products purchased.

Sales, site visits and promotional emails also dramatically increased in the three day stretch after Thanksgiving.  With that comes an uptick in Cybercrime, with hackers attempting every trick in the book to scam, breach, or otherwise compromise us out of our valuable online data.  So, we have some online shopping tips to keep you safe this holiday season.

1. Make sure that your mobile device and computer have a paid security software product installed.  You may think that your mobile device may be protected from infections, but you are wrong.  Your mobile device is running computer software and the applications and data are susceptible to infections.  Visiting websites and clicking on links, can infect your computer AND mobile device.  Mobile devices include, tablets, android phones, iPhones, and iPads.
2. Make sure any website you shop on includes “https” in the URL address.  That extra “s” is an important one – it stands for secure, which means any data routed through that site has an extra layer of security added to it through a secure socket layer (SSL) or transport layer security (TLS) protocol connection.
3. Use credit cards instead of debit cards.  Credit cards offer extra layers of security as well. Enhanced fraud monitoring, dispute procedures, and other protections come built in to most credit accounts, not to mention the extra points and rewards you could earn by using a credit card for your holiday spending. But the most basic safety mechanism here is that a credit card charge doesn’t come directly out of your bank account like a debit card charge does. In the event of a hack or breach, that can be a lifesaver.
4. Avoid giving out too much information.  This should be a no-brainer in our data breach-dominated day and age, but if a shopping website or app requests a lot of info from the get-go (credit card numbers, access to photos or contacts), it’s probably a fraud. Accidentally granting permission like that is often just the mistake hackers are waiting for you to make.
5. Don’t click on any pop-up ads. Like step 4, this applies equally to Cyber Week websites and popular apps (and it carries over throughout the year, not just in November and December). But any time you get a lot of irritating pop-up ads, use caution. Clicking on one of those can lead a user to an external illicit site that installs malware or other viruses on your device.
If you would like additional information on anything discussed in this newsletter, please either call us at 855-767-9685, ext. 700 or send an email to

Elite Networking & Consulting offers their clients a security software solution for both computers (PC’s & Mac’s) and mobile devices, that is a necessity today. All computer related devices need to be protected by security software. Our product includes a Ransomware Vaccine that stops this type of infection before it can attack any of your data.  This is the benefit of working with an IT Professional.

Source: Elite Networking & Consulting