There are as many as 1.92 billion online buyers in the world as of 2019 and by 2040, over 95% of all purchases will be made online. With the holiday season approaching, online shopping will increase due to sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, along with the normal holiday shopping increase. It’s important to keep your information safe while online shopping because the holiday season is the best time for virtual thieves to take advantage of those shopping online.

So what are some ways to stay protected? 

Use a VPN when online shopping on public wifi.

Shopping on the go is ideal during the holiday season when traveling to see friends and family. When shopping in public spaces like airports, train/bus stations, hotels, etc the first thing suggested to stay secure is connecting to a VPN. Solis provides VPN options to accompany your hotspot to keep you connected safely and secure. 

Using a VPN encrypts all data that enters and exits your device to prevent hackers from stealing your information you put online like login and payment information, in addition to keeping snoopers from tracking your internet activity. 

Keep an eye on shopping related phishing schemes. 

Phishing is a tactic that cybercriminals use to send emails that look like they’re from someone else.  Phishing emails will encourage you to click on a malicious link using an exclusive deal. Once you click on the link, you’re redirected to a landing page of the brand they are impersonating.

The cybercriminal will then try to collect login credentials and/or payment information. We recommend hovering your mouse over the URL before you click to confirm that it leads to a legitimate site rather than a fake one.

Use strong, secure passwords for accounts. 

During the holiday season, you’ll likely be creating new accounts to simplify checkouts, tracking, and returns. Stay away from repeat passwords across your accounts.

This would be no different than using the same key to your house, office, car, etc. It is best  to use random, strong passwords so that a cybercriminal will not have access to your other accounts.

Make use of password managers that allow you to generate strong passwords and eliminate the amount of passwords you reuse. Some also store your passwords and instantly logs you in so you don’t have to worry about remembering them. 

Monitor your credit. 

Use websites like Credit Karma to keep track of your credit. Sometimes you are unaware your information has been used until it’s a tad bit too late. But keeping track of your credit, can you help resolve possible fraud before it is unfixable.

It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but don’t let it be the worst by not keeping yourself cyber secure and safe while shopping online for the holidays! 

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