As many things have been this year, Amazon Prime Day was delayed from its typical summer date and is starting off the holiday season shopping October 13-14. With deals on Roku streaming devices, security cameras and more, consumers will be flooding not only the Amazon webpage, but additional retailers like Walmart and Best Buy sites who have also joined in on the event. With largely heightened online traffic, scammers will no-doubt be looking to cash-in on the chaos. Great Plains Communications wants to help you be prepared with tips to keep your information safe this Prime Day.
Check the URL
With targeted ads and pop-ups, it can seem as if the best deals are right in front of our faces. But even a secure looking ad or link could take you to a phishing website. From there, your computer could either be infected the moment you arrive or by malicious links within.
Make sure to check the spelling of the website and check that it is a .com after Amazon. It may sound too simple, but fake websites could be just one letter off from the real one you think you are headed to.
Check for the lock icon
When shopping, and especially before entering a password or credit card information, look to the URL bar of your browser and check for the small lock icon. This shows you that the website is encrypted, and your information is protected from hackers.
Don’t shop on public WIFI
It is very dangerous to enter any personal information, such as passwords and credit card information while on a public WIFI connection. The networks can easily be hacked or compromised, leaving your information visible to others on the same connection.
Make sure your software is updated
Having out-of-date versions or unpatched software is like having a target for malware, leaving you vulnerable to exploit kits. At the least, make sure to have your browser updated when shopping online. This will ensure your cookies and cache are more secure against data leaks.
We are all guilty of rolling our eyes at the little update bubble. It’s time consuming and most of the time the changes are behind the scenes, so we write them off as insignificant. But it is the information behind the scenes that is keeping your data protected.
Credit card vs. debit card
The main advantage to using a credit card versus a debit card is that a credit card has better consumer protection. In the case that someone did obtain your information, you wouldn’t be liable for fraudulent transactions. With a debit card, depending on when you report the missing card or fraudulent transactions, you could be on the hook for the entire amount. No matter what kind of card you use, it is always smart to monitor your accounts after online shopping.
Don’t fall for fake delivery emails and texts
A common scam is to send a fake shipping notification email or text. Often these messages will include claims that there is an issue with your order, may it be delivery or payment, and additional information is needed from you to proceed. If you receive an email that is asking for any personal information or has links included in questionable requests, do not interact. Instead, open your browser separately and go to Amazon or whatever retailer it is referring to and check directly through the site/your account.