Information Security Today Home

New Books on Cloud Security

Developing and Securing the Cloud by Bhavani Thuraisingham; ISBN 9781439862919
Securing Cloud and Mobility: A Practitioner's Guide by Ian Lim, E. Coleen Coolidge, and Paul Hourani; ISBN 9781439850558
Cloud Computing: Implementation, Management, and Security by John W. Rittinghouse and James F. Ransome; ISBN 9781439806807
Managing Risk and Security in Outsourcing IT Services: Onshore, Offshore and the Cloud by Frank Siepmann; ISBN 9781439879092
Core Software Security: Security at the Source by James Ransome and Anmol Misra; ISBN 9781466560956
The Frugal CISO: Using Innovation and Smart Approaches to Maximize Your Security Posture by Kerry Ann Anderson; ISBN 9781482220070

5 Ways You Can Stay Protected Online This Holiday Shopping Season

By Andy Browne, Lavasoft

Holiday shopping is well underway. According to Google, 26 percent of consumers planned to begin holiday shopping research before Halloween. Additionally, the National Retail Federation is projecting a record holiday shopping season with more than $600 million in consumer sales in the U.S. alone. With two of the biggest shopping days of the year--Black Friday and Cyber Monday--taking place this month, many consumers will turn to online channels to avoid hectic crowds and long checkout lines. While shopping online is convenient, e-commerce comes with its fair share of disadvantages, one of which is cybersecurity risks.

Whether you choose to shop on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or at any other point during the holiday shopping season, they must keep security top-of-mind to avoid falling victim to scams and potentially fraudulent transactions. Several key tips to keep in mind include:

  • Connect using secure Wi-Fi: Accessing public Internet presents the risk of exposing personal information such as passwords and banking credentials to cybercriminals lurking on the network. Home and other secure Wi-Fi networks offer consumers increased protection against cybercriminals.
  • Avoid clicking suspicious email links: You will receive endless emails offering deep discounts this holiday shopping season. To avoid potential scams, make sure to only click on links from trusted retailers and other sources from which they have opted to receive emails. If an email shows any red flags of fraud, it is best to go directly to the retailer's website to confirm whether or not the offer is legitimate, rather than clicking on a suspicious link.
  • Use unique passwords across websites: While many people use the same password across many e-commerce and other websites for the convenience factor, this often opens the door for cybercriminals. If one retailer gets breached, fraudsters can easily gain access to your login credentials across multiple websites.
  • Secure your purchase: You should only enter credit card information on pages that have "https://" as opposed to "http://," because this differentiates between a secure and insecure website. In addition, for the most secure purchases, pay with credit cards as opposed to debit cards or wire transfers or other non-plastic forms of payment.
  • Update antivirus software: Updated operating systems and antivirus software are a must during the holiday shopping season and year round. Unfortunately, many consumers delay security updates due to inconvenience, and doing so is a major mistake. By updating systems and software, if you do end up on a malicious site you have the best protection possible against any attempts to download or execute code on your machine.

The holidays are a cheerful time of year, and the last thing consumers want is for a fraud attack to represent coal in their stockings. By prioritizing online security, consumers can assure they check all items off their shopping lists without inadvertently sharing sensitive information with fraudsters or falling victim to malware attacks.

About the Author

Andy Browne is the malware labs director at Lavasoft, makers of Ad-Aware, the world's No. 1 free antivirus software. Founded in 1999, Lavasoft is the original anti-malware company, creating award-winning, free security and privacy software. Born of the belief that online security should be available to everyone, Lavasoft offers millions of users maximum protection for their computers and online identities. With close to 500 million downloads, its flagship product Ad-Aware has blocked and removed billions of threats, saving consumers from all forms of attacks and malware, including viruses, spyware, adware, phishing and drive-by downloads. Lavasoft is a global company with operations in North America and Europe.

Subscribe to Information Security Today

Share This Article

Bookmark and Share

© Copyright 2014 Auerbach Publications