October 24, 2023

Quick Tips for Safe Online Shopping this Holiday Season

by: Align

The holiday season is upon us! This means spending quality time with friends and family, celebrating traditions, indulging in delicious food, friendsgivings and, of course, online shopping deals. 

Unfortunately, given the increase in consumer spending, cybercriminals go into scam-overdrive mode. 

With Black Friday just around the corner, here are some quick tips to help you avoid falling victim to cyber scams.  

Beware: Online Purchasing Scams

Gift Cards

As you gear up for your holiday shopping, gift cards might seem like the perfect present. Always purchase gift cards from reputable retailers. If you spot a deal that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Steer clear of discounted gift cards from unfamiliar sources. When determining if a retailer is reputable, look for well-established and recognized brands or check online reviews and ratings from other shoppers.  

Fake Apps

Shopping apps have become an essential part of the online shopping experience. Be cautious when downloading shopping apps and only choose those from official app stores. Check for user reviews and ratings. If an app is new or lacks reviews, it might be a red flag.

Fake Coupons

Everyone loves a good discount, especially during the holiday season. 293-man-hand-typing-keyboard-input-code-for-register-system-600x400To stay safe, double-check the source of the coupon. Stick to well-known coupon websites and the official websites of the brands you're interested in. Avoid clicking on suspicious links in emails or on social media. If a discount seems unusually generous, it might be a ploy to steal your information. 

Beware: Delivery Scams

Fake "issue" with your delivery

The excitement of a pending delivery can quickly turn fishy when a deceptive email lands in your inbox. Cybercriminals send seemingly official emails, complete with logos and tracking numbers, claiming there's an issue with your delivery. Clicking on the provided link takes you to what appears to be a legitimate delivery company's website. Once you enter your personal information or download a file as instructed, your computer becomes a prime target for malware and viruses. To avoid falling into this trap, never click on links in unsolicited emails. Instead, go directly to the delivery company's official website and use the provided tracking number to check the status of your package.

Fake request for personal information once delivered

Scammers have taken to sending text messages that appear to be from reputable delivery companies. These messages inform you of a package's arrival and ask for your personal information to confirm the delivery. Remember, legitimate delivery companies do not typically request personal information via text message. If you receive such a message, do not respond with your personal details. Instead, contact the delivery company directly using the official contact information available on their website or by searching for their customer service number separately.  

Stay vigilant this holiday season and watch out for these delivery scams designed to prey on your excitement. Always verify the legitimacy of communications and protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands. 

You can learn more about Align’s comprehensive Cybersecurity solution here.

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