Risk Management Tip

Avoid scams on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

With another holiday season comes another Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While these days can be great times to find bargains and deals, it is important to keep a few online shopping safety tips in mind before you splurge:

  1. Look for the https:// – the s stands for secure. Along with the HTTPS in the web address, you want to make sure you see the small padlock icon in the address bar when you get to the payment steps. Both of these will indicate that you are shopping on a secure site, which has a trusted and safe backend system.
  2. Use anti-virus softwareand tools on all computers to detect and remove viruses that can steal your identity when using your bank account or credit cards online.
  3. Update your browser – Ensure you are using the latest browser available for your system, such asGoogle Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Internet Explorer, as the latest versions of each have increased safeguards to prevent adware, spyware, and phishing attempts.
  4. Use anti-phishing software – most reputable anti-virus programs contain anti-phishing software and alerts that help detect phishing scams.
  5. Secure your wireless networkwith a password to make sure others cannot access your personal information without your knowledge and permission.
  6. Choose a password by combining different numbers, letters and symbols –Remember, the longer the password the better. Be sure to log off of a website after completing an online transaction. If you are prompted to sign up for a new account to make a purchase, always create a new password.
  7. Take action immediately if you suspect identity theft. Contact your credit card company, your bank, all three credit reporting agencies and the police.

Read more online safety tips from the Department of Homeland Security.