It’s important for the business community to recognize that while this time of the year is great for sales, it is also the season when cyber criminals prey on businesses. Their goal is to take full advantage of the hectic holiday shopping period by relentlessly attacking vulnerabilities in your online systems. It is during this time that businesses need to be especially on guard when it comes to payment card protection.
The last 10 years have seen huge changes in how we shop and pay for goods and services, with growing numbers of consumers using online shopping and more recently their smart phones.
It’s Cyber Monday, a day of online deals for the frugal — and those thrifty shoppers who weren’t willing to suffer Black Friday craziness for deals on holiday gifts!
While online shopping brings the world of retail to your computer, it’s not without its perils. Just ask anyone who’s recovered from identity theft or failed to read the fine print for an online purchase.
Here are five choice tips that even the most savvy online shopper can use on Cyber Monday:
1.) Pay attention to downloads
Music and books are perennial favorites for holiday gift giving. But if you’re buying digital music and e-books, pay attention to where the downloads are ending up. If the downloads are going to your account, there’s a chance they can’t be shared with a gift recipient. Some retailers have the option to buy digital media as a gift; that’s probably what you’d like to do.
2.) Fine print matters — so read it!
Oh, those pesky terms of service agreements. They’re a dry but necessary read. Failure to read the fine print on a Cyber Monday purchase could end up with you paying “surprise” fees or being signed up for unwanted email. Slow down during check out and make sure you know what you’re getting.
3.) Tickets can be tricky
Tickets to the big game or a favorite band’s concert definitely have that “wow” factor as gifts! Be cautious, though, about buying tickets online for someone else. Some venues require that the same credit card used to buy the tickets be shown to collect the tickets as will call. No credit card = no show = one sad gift recipient.
4.) Secure that connection
If you’re shopping online from a coffee shop, library, or waiting room, double check the security of the wi-fi network. An unsecure network means your credit card information could be compromised. Yes, it’s nice to sneak in a few minutes of shopping while you’re out running errands, but the risks of using a sketchy network are very high.
5.) Put away the debit card
Credit cards should be your payment of choice on Cyber Monday. That’s because credit card payments can be withheld from a retailer should a dispute arise (for example, if your credit card is stolen and used in a shopping spree without your knowledge). Generally, the card holder is on the hook for no more than $50 of fraudulent charges. With a debit card, the store dips directly into your bank account; there’s no withholding payments. What’s more, a stolen debit card could cost its owner up to $500, depending on when the theft is reported.
Keep the tips above in mind when you are doing your online shopping this Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season. A cyber liability policy is an inexpensive way to make sure you’re business is protected against cyber criminals. Contact ProAction Insurance for more information on adding a cyber liability policy to your business.