I just checked my calendar, and we only have two weeks to go till Black Friday and just slightly more than that for Cyber Monday. For most of us, these two shopping days represent a chance to score some really good deals, save a few bucks on our Christmas shopping, and possibly pick up some new gadgets for over the holidays, but it’s also the time when the bad dudes also see a huge opportunity to step up their game hand hack their way into your life. Given the huge amount that we spend on Christmas, and last year we crossed the 680-billion US dollar mark for the first time in North America, there will be all sorts of thieves working out scams to rip you off. So, my question to you is have you takes any safety precautions to protect yourself?
To help out, here are a few tips to avoid a disaster. Make sure that you have online fraud protection for your credit cards. Keep track of all your purchases and the details for each transaction, and cross-reference that information against your bank statements. Never give out excessive or unnecessary information when making online purchases. Make sure that both your computer and smartphone are malware free. Nothing like having someone capturing all your keystrokes when you’re online shopping. It also wouldn’t hurt to keep an eye on your credit score. At least one company makes those reports available at no charge. Your credit report will show you what activity is happening in your name, and if someone has tried to steal your identity and get additional credit cards in your name, you will know fairly quickly.
A couple of years ago, I had my credit card supplied send me an alert whenever any charges are made on my account. It’s a great service that can catch a would-be fraud immediately.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard