Shop Cyber Monday Deals Safely Today

by Erin on November 30th, 2009 in Industry and Security News, Security Tips.

Today, November 30, is known as Cyber Monday and it marks the kickoff of the online shopping season. If you’re a savvy shopper, scouring the Web to find the best deals and bargains today, make sure to keep this in mind: Cyber Monday will also bring with it an upswing in cyber scams. In fact, our security analysts at the Malware Labs at Lavasoft have already reported a 390 percent increase in the amount of malware detected and added to Ad-Aware's threat database, compared to the same period last year.

To avoid malware traps and cyber scams during the online shopping season, we’ve put together a handful of basic tips to ensure security — on Cyber Monday and beyond:

  1. Make sure to shop only on secure sites. Look for the padlock icon or a URL that starts with https://. That means your transaction is encrypted.
  2. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you're not familiar with a particular seller, look for privacy and security seals or research them before you make your purchase.
  3. Create lengthy and complex passwords. Passwords can be guessed very quickly by hacker programs, so use both upper and lower case letters, as well as numbers, when creating passwords or when registering on sites. 
  4. Maintain your security software essentials to keep malware off your PC. This includes having updated anti-spyware and anti-virus protection on your computer, in addition to a firewall. 
  5. Don't make hasty online purchases. If you're hesitant to enter your credit card details online, consider using a separate credit card, or use an ‘e-card’ solution that gives you the ability to create a temporary card number to be used just once or with a spending limit.