HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The holiday shopping season is here and Cyber Monday is another day of deals for shoppers, but with deals comes steals and a data security expert said safety is key.
The owner of Arkware, LLC in Harlingen, Dustin Salinas, said with the increase of online shoppers, cybercrimes can be expected on Cyber Monday.
“Every week, every month there are more and more cyber threats,” said Salinas.
He said it is important to shop on a secure website to avoid potential fraud or cybercrimes.
“Make sure that there is a lock icon on the address bar and an “s” after HTTP,” said Salinas.
Shopping on secure websites can help avoid your information from being compromised, according to Salinas. If you are shopping on a website that is fraudulent while at work, you run the risk of your information being stolen along with your employer’s information.
“If you’re on Amazon or you’re on Walmart and it changes to a different website during check out, I would make sure to cancel that transaction,” said Salinas.
He recommends not clicking on advertisements and keeping an eye out for any strange activity on the site.
Salinas explained that using credit cards is best when shopping online because it is faster to get funds back if fraud happens during an online transaction.
“PayPal is one of the safest, they have fraudulent activity insurance for the consumer during the purchase,” he said.
He said if going to a store, do not connect to the store’s Wi-Fi, as cybercriminals could be monitoring the Wi-Fi activity.
“They could steal your data, they can intercept your transactions, or compromise your phone,” he said.
Salinas recommends having updated virus protection on a computer to avoid viruses while shopping online. He said storing your credentials and credit card information on websites should be avoided.
“Your activity on that website could be monitored by a third-party individual if it’s a hacker that’s trying to steal any of your information. I would recommend going to that local store and purchasing your products,” said Salinas.
He said if you are a victim of a cybercrime, you should immediately contact the store, your bank, or credit card company, and you can file a report with local authorities.
“No purchase is worth your identity,” said Salinas.