SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – With Cyber Monday less than a week away, here are all the quick tips you need to keep your online shopping experience safe from hackers.
Shopping online from the comfort of your own home is one way to avoid the crowds this holiday, and with the deals that are available it's a good way to stick to the budget. However, it can be very costly if you aren't mindful of hackers that can prey on innocent online shoppers.
John Baldorama, Chief Information Security Officer for Marin County, told KCBS Radio fake emails are one way they gain access.
"Scammers will definitely try to trick you into clicking on links, might be for shipping notifications or might be with a deal that sounds too good to be true," he said.
When shopping, Baldorama advises Cyber Monday deal hunters to avoid public Wi-Fi. "People might be snooping and watching your traffic, trying to get your username, password or figuring out what you're doing," he warned.
When going to a website, "always look for the https or the lock symbol." This will ensure your transactions are secure.
Baldorama also told shoppers to only use trusted retailers and if you need to use a smaller company, "make sure you check their ratings if you absolutely must go with someone else," he said.
Lastly, it's best to use a credit card or PayPal, as you can challenge those transactions if you're hacked. Never use a debit card.