Cyber Monday is in full swing and that means millions of people are taking to the Internet to scoop up some of the year’s best deals.
According to the National Retail Federation, more than 122 million Americans plan to shop online this year, compared with 121 million last year.
But with the increased online activity comes the increased risk of fraud and identity theft.
Cybersecurity expert Chris Duque says along with Cyber Monday comes the cyber grinch.
“Whenever you go online and you do any kind of shopping or anything that involve financial transactions, you need to do your due diligence in protecting yourself from being victimized,” he said.
Duque says the number-one mistake people make is shopping using an unsecured Wi-Fi connection.
“I highly advise steering away from using Wi-Fi that’s free, like in a café or Internet café or some kind of kiosk, where you have no control of the Wi-Fi connection because you don’t know whose router you’re logging on to,” Duque said.
If you’re using your own Wi-Fi connection, make sure it’s password protected, and watch out for websites that look similar to real ones. You can spot a fake by looking at the address bar for spelling errors.
“(Customers) may Google and they may look say it looks like Amazon, it looks like Best Buy, Walmart, all those stores. They see the graphics, but they don’t look at the address bar. It’s so easy to impersonate or mimic a legitimate website,” Duque warned.
If you’re shopping online, look for the https in the address bar, which means it’s a secure website. When it comes time to pay, a credit card offers better fraud protection versus a debit card.
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