Prevent Cyber Crime Over the Holidays!

cyber crime

Don’t Be A Victim of Cyber Crime!

Starting in the fall and continuing until after Christmas is the busiest time in most people’s lives. Their time is at a premium and at the same time they are spending more money, in more places, and making faster spending decisions than any other time of year. This all adds up to a fertile field for Cyber Crime.

None of us want to be victims of these thieves so let’s take a look at two important ways that you can protect your data, your wallet and your identity!

cyber crime

Avoid phishing

“Phishing is a key component around the holidays,” said Schaffer. Beware of opening emails from unknown sources or clicking on links embedded in emails. “This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t purchase from vendors online,” she said, “just make sure it’s a legitimate site.”

If you get emails from vendors you traditionally shop with, Schaffer recommends opening a new window on your computer and going directly to the company’s website. “The email could be legitimate, but it’s better to go to the site.”

When purchasing online, always look for the little padlock in the address which shows whether or not the website is secured to protect payments.

Also make sure to only shop on secure networks and avoid public, unsecured networks in hotels, coffee shops or airports where someone could hack in and access your credit card information. Avoid accessing your financial information or any other accounts that require a password on public Wi-Fi.

Beware of card skimming

You pull up to the gas station, take out your credit card and don’t think twice about it. However, credit card skimming seems to be more prevalent around the holidays. “Look to make sure there is only one slot or that there isn’t a piece of machinery around the slot to capture the information,” cautioned Schaffer.

Thieves can attach a tiny strip of film to a card reader and download the information located inside the card’s magnetic strip to create a duplicate card.

Also be sure to monitor credit card statements and bank accounts to ensure there are no unauthorized purchases. Frequently, thieves will make a small purchase to see if it can go undetected before moving to a larger one.  -Property Casualty 360

Do You Have A Burner Card?

Online shopping is great for the holidays, but you can’t ignore the risks. Sometimes taking a small extra step can help keep you safe so you can use the fun, convenient online shops you want, without ever having to worry about losing money to cyber crime!

Using your debit card to shop online can be a risky proposition. Try a burner, instead., which started on Tuesday, lets users set up virtual cards that can be used for a single purchase or recurring charges at a specific merchant. Funds are drawn from a linked, existing bank account.

“When you look at millennial shoppers, the vast majority of them use debit cards,” privacy co-founder and CEO Bo Jiang said. Earlier this year, a report found that nearly two-thirds of younger millennials don’t even have a credit card.

For holiday purchases, debit is still a big player. Among millennials, 56 percent plan to shop with a debit card, versus 41 percent of shoppers overall, according to a analysis.

That habit can be great for your budget, but it’s one consumer advocates warn against with cyberthieves keen to capture your personal and financial information.

“Our spiel is, don’t use debit cards. Period. End of story,” said Beth Givens, executive director of Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a consumer advocacy group.

The reasoning: Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, your liability for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50 max. But debit cards fall under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, which bases liability on how quickly you report the fraud.

Even if you spot a problem quickly, your checking account will be missing that money while the bank investigates, Givens said. (Hello, overdraft!) – CNBC

Do you know how to keep your data safe when you shop?

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