Wednesday, November 30, 2022
One of the realities of the holiday shopping season (besides the fact that it feels like some retailers started celebrating “Black Friday” back in September) is that cybercriminals are always working on a new scam so they can go shopping with your money.
That’s a LOT of cash when you consider:
- Just last week, according to Adobe Analytics, U.S. Black Friday online sales hit a record $9.12 billion. Add to that another $9.55 billion in weekend sales, and Cyber Monday took the top spot as the busiest of all shopping days, with sales coming in at $11.3 billion. Throw in the fact, too, that fully 48 percent of these sales were completed using our smartphones. In making those registers ring, 196.7 million people shopped in stores and online between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
As you look back over your receipts, it’s important to keep in mind, too, how much of what we spend is lost. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3) 2021 report, non-payment or non-delivery scams cost people more than $337 million. Credit card fraud accounted for another $173 million in losses. In a non-delivery scam, a buyer pays for something they find online, but those items are never received. Conversely, a non-payment scam involves goods or services being shipped, but the seller is never paid.
Fortunately, there’s a lot of free resources, with helpful cybersecurity tips – from sources you can trust – that are designed to make your online shopping experience easy, but more importantly, safe, and secure, including:
- Learning more about cyber from why it’s important to take precautions and how attackers go after online shoppers to ways you can protect yourself is the mission of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and their website is filled with all kinds of great information, tips and best practices.
- Avoiding “fly-by-night” websites and resisting the temptations of “free” offers are among the tips Regions Bank offers as part of its advice on how to handle Five Common Online Shopping Scams.
- PRO TIP: No online retailer needs your Social Security Number or your Date of Birth to make a purchase. Making sure that you don’t overshare your personal information and always looking for the “lock” when visiting a website that you intend to use a credit or debit card for making a purchase are at the top of PC Mag’s 14 Tips for Safe Online Shopping.
Here in Indiana, cybersecurity is a top priority and there’s always lots of FREE information for Hoosiers of all ages, including cyber tips for individuals and families, as well as businesses, local government, and schools on our Indiana Cyber Hub website and be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.