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Best practices for Cyber Monday shopping

A local cyber security expert shares several ways you can protect yourself while shopping online this holiday season.

Posted: Nov. 25, 2018 8:25 PM
Updated: Nov. 26, 2018 11:39 AM

Cyber Monday is a major online shopping day with Black Friday-like deals, but experts warn it's also a day where some people may want to steal your payment information.

WAAY 31 asked people their thoughts on cyber security while shopping online. One person said when he's bouncing between tabs, it's not something he's mindful of.

"All you're thinking about is what you want and it getting to you," an online shopper, Dante Moss, said.

Another person, Joni Boulet, said she doesn't know how to protect herself from people who may want to take her information online.

"We're not the most tech savvy people," Boulet said.

An expert told WAAY 31 the risk of your personal information being compromised is real, especially while online shopping.

"With convenience comes lack of security," cyber security expert, Stanislav Lozovsky, said.

Lozovsky is the Vice President of H2L Solutions in Huntsville, and he knows that the people who want to steal your information target Cyber Monday shoppers.

"I'm sure they're going to be putting out a lot of phishing campaigns," Lozovsky said.

Before you follow links and enter your information, Lozovsky is offering his do's and don't's of Cyber Monday. First, he recommends using a credit card. He said they have more built-in security than a debit card. He also recommends only making purchases from certain websites.

"Use legitimate vendors. Amazon, Ebay, I'm not endorsing those, but whatever online shopping site you use, make sure it's a legitimate site," Lozovsky said.

When you're sitting at home, doing your shopping and trying to figure out which sites are legit, you should look at the far left side of the website's URL. The site you're shopping at should have a green check mark or some other symbol to indicate your connection is safe. This ensures all of your transactions are encrypted before being sent to the site.

Lozovsky said you should also keep track of what you spent and where. He said someone who's gotten hold of your account information will likely make a few small purchases to make sure he or she can get away with it before making a much bigger purchase.

"You might forget that little twenty dollar purchase, and then the next thing you know you could be hit up for a thousand, two thousand, three thousand dollars worth of purchases that you never made," Lozovsky said.

Lozovksy also recommends never saving your password or credit card information to a vendor's website or cycling the same few passwords through different sites.

"You know, we'll change passwords here and there," Boulet said.

Lozovsky said the worst case scenario while online shopping is getting your information stolen and your bank account cleaned out. He also said that if your banking information is compromised, you should file a police report immediately because it's the first step to getting any stolen funds back.

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