FEMA cautions shoppers against online scams during the upcoming holiday season

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The holiday shopping season is ramping up across the nation, giving hackers more opportunities to scam and steal from people online.

While millions of people will be online looking for the best gifts and Cyber Monday deals, hackers will be attempting to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers.

Scammers often search for weaknesses in devices or internet connections, as well as attempt to extract personal and financial information through fake websites or charities.

FEMA is warning shoppers of scammers’ goals to compromise data, insert malicious software, steal identities, and take money during the upcoming season.

Here are some tips shoppers can use while searching for gifts online:

  • Implement multi-factor authentication on your accounts to make it much less likely you’ll get hacked.
  • Update your software and your apps. Better yet, turn on automatic updates.
  • Think before you click. Most successful cyber-attacks start with a phishing email.
  • Use strong passwords, and ideally a password manager to generate and store unique passwords.
  • Don’t connect to unsecure public Wi-Fi, especially to do your banking or shopping.
  • Don’t click links or download attachments unless you’re confident of where they came from. If you’re unsure if an email is legitimate, type the URL of the retailer or other company into your web browser, as opposed to clicking the link.

FEMA has also released the following methods to use for safe purchases:

  • Use a credit card as opposed to a debit card. There are laws to limit your liability for fraudulent credit card charges, but you may not have the same level of protection for your debit cards.
  • Check your credit card and bank statements for any fraudulent charges. Immediately notify your bank or financial institution and local law enforcement.
  • Be wary of emails requesting personal information. Attackers may attempt to gather information by sending emails requesting that you confirm purchase or account information. Legitimate businesses will not solicit this type of information through email.
  • If you believe your personal or financial information has been stolen, report it right away to your local police and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). There’s information on the FTC website about how to report. Immediately change your passwords; use complex passwords and use a different one for each account.

The post FEMA cautions shoppers against online scams during the upcoming holiday season appeared first on SuperTalk Mississippi.