Shoppers who braved the malls on Black Friday might have risked some pushing and shoving, but not a lot more. Those taking part in Cyber Monday run the risk of having their identities stolen. The risk is greater because they are making purchases online, where a data breach or one-on-one hacking can expose your personal information.
Nearly 13 million consumers were victims of some type of identity theft last year, so it's a good bet the thieves will be out in full force this year.
You've probably heard all of the tips below, but it probably bears repeating.
Be savvy about WiFi hotspots. Make sure you don't share personal or financial information over an unsecured WiFi network. You'll know it's not secure if you can access it without a username and password.
Make sure the site is legitimate. Before entering credit card or personal information, look for a closed padlock on your web browser or a URL address that begins with https.
Keep a clean machine. Smartphones or other devices used for shopping should have up-to-date software.
Keep a paper trail. Save records of online transactions and check credit card statements as soon as they arrive. Immediately report any discrepancies.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE MAY HELP
Some homeowners, renters or condo insurance policies may provide some protection against the burdens of dealing with identity fraud. Call Lakeside Insurance Brokers to have us review your current insurance coverage.
Already been victimized? The sooner you act, the better. The Federal Trade Commission explains what you should do.