Posted by - December 01, 2023

The holiday season may be the busiest online shopping season of the year – but that also means it’s the busiest for eCommerce and phishing scams. According to Cybersource, phishing ranked as the leading form of eCommerce fraud in 2022, impacting 43% of global eCommerce merchants. Hackers deceive shoppers into revealing their personal or financial information by sending fake emails, messages, and websites.

If you are planning on participating in online sales this holiday season, read through our cyber safety guide to stay informed of best practices:

1. Shop with retailers you trust

It is always safest to shop with brands that are reputable with a proven track record. This doesn’t mean avoiding small businesses and new companies – but do your research first. Read reviews and seek information online from previous buyers. Websites like Trustpilot provide real customer reviews and experiences to vet companies properly.  

2. Stay wary of unbelievable deals

Those unbelievable discounts may seem too good to be true – because they are. Bad actors will lure shoppers with irresistible deals to persuade them into divulging their personal information. The FBI noted a spike in these incidents from paid ads on social media platforms.

Even if the discount comes from a link or an email of a trusted retailer, it is always safest to go directly to the site first. Closely inspect any links or emails you receive and watch for the warning signs.

3. Don’t browse on public Wifi

Avoid using public Wifi while online shopping or accessing private information. It may be tempting to browse your favorite shops while sitting at your local coffee shop, but you never know who may be around you – or what they are capable of.

If you do use public Wifi, protect yourself with a VPN. A VPN prevents cybercriminals from being able to see your device’s activity or from intercepting your personal information.  

4. Pick strong passwords

It may be time to update that password you picked out 10 years ago and have used for everything since. Use a trusted password keeper and log your strong passwords to remember your information. Make it complex and avoid common dictionary words or personal information (this means no more using birthdays or the name of your beloved pet).

5. Pay with a credit card

Credit cards don’t give sellers direct access to the money in your bank account. Plus, most credit cards offer $0 liability for fraud. This means your money is protected even if the worst-case scenario does happen.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can be stressful as it is. Avoid additional cyber headaches by staying informed and investing in your network security. Learn more about how our team can protect you and your business today at 703-790-0400 or

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