When you think Thanksgiving, you think about family, delicious food, and of course, holiday shopping deals. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest shopping days of the entire year. When it comes to Black Friday, shoppers are on the lookout for their physical security because those shopping lines can get intense. However, Cyber Monday shoppers need to beware of their online safety. Our IT expert, Jeff Groby, joined the Guy Phillips Show last week for Tech Talk on The Big 550 KTRS to talk about things online shoppers should be aware of this Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday Online Shopping Tips
Cyber Monday is the largest online shopping day of the year. The famous online shopping day broke new records last year as digital transactions that day reached a record-breaking $6.59 billion! With all that money and influx of shoppers looking for Cyber Monday deals, cyber criminals are out looking for weak spots. Here are a few of Jeff's tips for safe online shopping this holiday season:
- Check the URL to make sure it is a legitimate website and you've landed on the page you have intended to visit.
- Check your web browser to make sure that the website you're on is secure before you enter any personal information like your name, address, or credit card number.
- If you're doing your shopping from a mobile device, download the app to the store you're purchasing from. Amazon, Target, and all major retailers have apps that are a lot more secure than using your mobile device's web browser.
- If you've received an email with an offer that is just too good to be true, check it out on the actual website before you click any links in the email.
- Don't act on any unsolicited email offers with insane deals. If you've never shopped there before or given them your information, the offer is more than likely not legitimate.
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Cyber criminals are always out there looking to take advantage of online shoppers. Cyber Monday is an opportunity for these criminals to hide their normal tactics in new ways. Our best advice is to be cautious and follow best online practices.
Secret Sister Facebook Scam
Guy Phillips and his co-host, Sherry Farmer, brought up a new social media scam that is making headlines. You may have seen it, the "secret sister" gift exchange making rounds on Facebook. It asks for people to copy and paste the game's rules as a status and enlist friends to join them in a gift exchange. The game promises gifts in exchange for getting more people involved. The rules are similar to any other scheme, get so many people to follow you and it will help boost you higher into the game. Secret Sisters requests that each person get an additional six people to play along and then so on and so forth. Only if each player gets six others under them will they receive the full benefit of the gift exchange.
This social media game is the perfect example of an online pyramid scheme, which is illegal. The United States Postal Inspection Service says that all gift exchanges like this are illegal gambling and participants could be subject to penalties or mail fraud. While this may be a different kind of social media scam than we're used to, it's still one to be aware of. Practicing strong security awareness online is a great way to keep yourself and your information out of trouble.
Tech Talk Presented by SumnerOne
Each week on Tech Talk, we try to talk about topics that everyone can relate to. Whether its the latest trends in business or general tips for good online security. Our Experts at SumnerOne always bring their best to the listeners of The Big 550 KTRS. We hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and are able to put some of our Cyber Monday tips to good use when online shopping. Be sure to tune in this Friday afternoon at our normal time for Tech Talk! To brush up on our past segments, click the button down below.
Originally published November 26, 2018, updated February 12, 2019