Holiday Shopping and Cybersecurity: Are You Ready for Gift Buying Season?

The holidays are here and retailers are looking to bring in record-breaking sales. Unfortunately, there are some people who are hoping to take advantage of the holiday season to separate you from your hard-earned money: cybercriminals.

Two years ago, the average holiday shopper spent almost $900 on friends and family. This number has been steadily climbing over the last few years and shows no signs of decreasing this holiday season. Approximately half of all Americans will also buy something this holiday from an online retailer with Amazon leading the list.

With all of that money flying around, how can you protect yourself this holiday season? Here are a few ways to keep your information safe.

Secure your computer

First and foremost, you need to make sure that your computer is as secure as possible. That means ensuring your anti-virus software is fully up-to-date and your wireless router is encrypted so that your activities online cannot be hacked by someone tapping into your personal server. This is also something that is important for businesses, whose customers are trusting them with their personal data like credit card information.

Make sure that your website is encrypted

If you run your own business, you need to make sure that your customers can trust that their data is safe. That’s why your website should utilize Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology. This is meant to encrypt the customer’s information so that it is not easily hacked. Inform your customers that you use this on your webpage to give them a feeling of confidence. Likewise, customers should look for the web address to begin with “https” to indicate that the website is secure and safe to use.

Educate yourself (and your staff)

Whether you are a customer or a multi-million-dollar business, you need to make sure that you are educated about how to use the internet safely. On a corporate level, make sure that everyone protects their log-in information and that they do not click on suspicious emails that could be phishing for information or that might take you to a website that can hijack access to your computer and endanger your data.

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Posted in Cybersecurity, Holiday Series