Millions of people are expected to shop online this year for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals but a cyber security expert said it’s also prime time for criminals to scam people and take advantage of the holiday season.
Tyler Moore is a cyber security professor at the University of Tulsa. He says people take advantage of online shopping all year, but it ramps up during days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“Cyber security is important year-round but especially important in the holidays," he said.
According to retail data website Fit Small Business, 64 percent of all consumers are expected to shop online on Cyber Monday this year and are anticipated to spend more than $11 billion. Moore said one-way scammers take advantage is by offering too-good-to-be-true deals.
"There are lots of counterfeit goods, especially third-party merchants on places like Amazon,” he said.
He said to make sure you’re buying from a respected seller. Moore also said criminals will take advantage of people looking for online jobs to make extra money.
“Sometimes those jobs themselves can be scams," he said.
Moore said it’s vital to make sure your passwords are strong, and he suggests using a password manager app, so you only have to remember one. He also highly encourages two-factor authentication.
“If someone is able to break into your email account, that's keys to the kingdom.”
Moore said to be aware of links you’re clicking, especially in email, and he said anyone can be a victim of online attacks, so always check twice while online shopping.
"If you can adopt two-factor authentication on your email services and a password manager, you will be 90 percent of the way to being secure against all online attacks.”