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The Grinch Who Cloned Your Credit Card!

Buyer beware: online fraudulent activity spikes during the holiday season shopping season. As shoppers head to their favorite stores, armed with their smartphones and credit cards, cyber criminals are waiting to pounce on your personal information. With the holidays just around the corner, the Pandora’s box of cyber attacks is about to be opened.

Not even the most experienced and well-trained IT staff can create an ironclad cyber security program. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving and adapting to exploit the latest compromised defenses, and staying one step ahead is challenging for corporations and individuals alike.

Update and upgrade your defenses.

Upgrade your firewall and if you don’t have a firewall get one! Each new generation of technology is better than the previous version, offering greater protection. Invest in a great antivirus software that scans your system automatically avoiding human error. The best way to avoid falling victim to cyber crimes is to stay ahead of the curve and to have the latest in security and upgrades a great start.

Beware of free Wi-Fi.

We know how tempting it is to sign onto the stores free W-Fi while your are shopping, especially since store walls are notorious for weakening smartphone data connections. However, fraudsters may be lurking on these same networks, ready to piggyback on that connection to steal your credit card or other personal information. Open Wi-Fi is one of the least secure places to check any of your personal information. The last thing you want a hacker to have is a direct line to your bank account.

Swim away from the phish.

Phishing spikes during the holiday season, but with all of our favorite stores sending instant updates on their latest deals it's easy to let our guard down, becoming victim to the great phishing expedition. If the deal sounds too goo to be true, it probably is!

Avoid emails that offer great deals on holiday gifts or donation requests from charities that could be attempts to steal your login or credit card information. Don’t even click on these emails! They could contain malware or direct you to a fake website that looks like a legitimate company. If you are looking for a great deal, visit the stores actual website. It may take a little more effort on your part, but it beats having your personal information stolen.

Search your account for “naughty” activity.

You should always remain vigilant, checking your account for any unauthorized activity, both during and after the holiday season. The easiest way to keep track of your holiday purchases is to use the same credit card for all of your holiday shopping. Never use your debit card; if a cybercriminal gets ahold of your number they could clean out your account.

It’s a great idea to use different usernames and passwords for you various shopping accounts. This way if one of your accounts is compromised, it’s less likely that they will all fall victim to the hackers fraudulent activities.

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Monday, 18 June 2018
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