Ways to protect yourself against scams during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

As the year is running into an end, with so many people storing their house with a lot off goodies, your also need to think of Ways to protect yourself against scams during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

According to TransUnion’s 2019 Holiday Retail Fraud Survey, about 75% of people plan to do at least half of their holiday shopping online this year,

But while online shopping helps you skip the crowds at the mall, it can be a cybersecurity minefield.

The holidays are a bonanza for cybercriminals,” Dave Baggett, co-founder and CEO of anti-phishing start-up Inky tells CNBC Make It.

A lot of People are buying a lot of things over a short period of time, and they are hurried about it. This presents opportunities for crooks.”

Below are one-stop guide on how to best protect yourself while shopping this holiday season.

1. Don’t click links in emails

Emails are a particularly common way for fraudsters to gain access to your credit card information or identity.

Hackers send what’s called a phishing email, in which they copy a store’s sale or discount email and include a link to a false portal asking for your info.

2. Don’t open attachments from retailers

In the same way that you should avoid clicking on email links, you don’t open up attachments from retailers.

3. Avoid pop-ups and ads

Malware and viruses aren’t just spread via email. They can follow you around the Internet in the form of pop-ups and advertisements these are actually referred to as malvertising, or malicious advertising.

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4. Beware of e-skimmers

Card skimming has been happening for years. It’s a scam that typically happens at gas stations or ATMs, where a criminal installs a device that gathers credit card numbers and information when you swipe your card.

That practice has gone digital, the FBI says. Cyber thieves can install malicious code on a retailer’s website to gather credit card data when you check out.

5. Use a credit card

Many experts recommend that you use credit cards instead of debit cards. That’s because the Fair Credit Billing Act makes it so consumers are only liable for up to $50 in fraudulent charges.

And major credit card companies, including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa offer “zero liability” policies, so you don’t have to pay for any fraud.

6. Use a secure network to shop

Almost half of Americans, 45%, have used public Wi-Fi to access sensitive information, according to a survey by payment compliance provider PCI Pal.

7. Be suspicious of free offers

During the holidays, Baggett says there’s an “explosion” of survey and gift card scams. These are generally emails that supposedly offer you payments or gift cards in exchange for taking surveys.

8. Diversify your passwords

10. Beware gift card scams

A gift card can be the perfect holiday gift for that hard-to-please person on your list, butscams tied to these cardsare becoming increasingly popular.