Stay Safe on Cyber Monday: Cybersecurity for Holiday Shopping

By: Kevin Dinino
Category: Security

Americans have many things to be thankful for this holiday season, but the unprecedented rate of data breaches and rising rate of credit card fraud are not among them. Online transactions are at the center of data breaches and credit card theft – and the most popular day of the year for online shopping is upon us. Cyber Monday 2016 went down as the biggest day for e-commerce in U.S. history – topping $3 billion in purchases. In the first half of 2017 alone, our country faced nearly 800 data breaches, setting a new half-year record. To make matters worse, credit card fraud cost U.S. consumers a staggering $16 billion in 2016, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, and this number doesn’t even account for the billions of dollars lost by merchants and banks.

Before embarking on peak shopping season, consumers, retailers and banks should brace for hackers and take note of the guide below.

Five Do’s and Don’ts for Online Shoppers:

  • Don’t enter credit card information on a shared network or unsecured server.
  • Do use strong passwords – a combination of letters, numbers and special characters
  • Do review your bills and statements – better yet, take advantage of online banking and check your accounts regularly. Many banks even offer text alerts notifying you to suspicious activity.
  • Do monitor your credit. Tools like Experian’s fraud alert or Credit Karma’s free monitoring tool are great resources.
  • Don’t wait to report fraud. If you notice a discrepancy on your bank statement or credit report, notify your bank immediately.

Three tips for retailers:

  • Take advantage of the latest payment encryption technology
  • Always require security codes for online transactions
  • Know how to spot the warning signs of fraud. This may include a purchase using a suspicious email addresses or a shopper using a different address for shipping and billing. If you suspect fraud may have occurred, you should immediately alert your payments provider.

No. 1 Cyber Monday Take-Away for Banks:

Utilize new technologies to proactively monitor client transactions. Machine learning and a data driven approach enable banks not only to identify cards that may become fraudulent in a fraction of the time, but also to identify the risk of fraud. Cards with embedded chips decrease the likelihood of fraud and therefore elicit substantial savings for merchants.

As you embrace the spirit of giving this holiday season, remember identity thieves are all too eager to be on the receiving end. Whether a consumer, retailer or bank, we all have a role to play when it comes to mitigating the risks of credit card fraud.

For more information on cybersecurity for your business, read “Why You Need a CISO.”

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