With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is offering tips to help people stay safe now and into the new year.
From decorating the tree to traveling to grandma’s house with a sleigh full of new toys, be sure to take simple steps to keep your family safe.
Holiday Shopping Safety
Whether shopping online or in the store, be sure to utilize smart shopping techniques this holiday season. If shopping online, connect with care.
Make sure your home wireless network is password protected and set strong passwords that make it hard for cyber criminals to guess.
Increase online traffic has made it more lucrative for cyber thieves to trick buyers into scams and steal personal information for financial gain. Remember the old adage, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
During the holidays, scammers may send fake emails requiring you to click a link for a special offer. Shop online through trusted retailers to avoid these scams, and do not click on links from unknown senders.
Online shopping best practices recommended by the National Cyber Security Alliance:
- Think before you click: Beware of ads encouraging users to click on links, account warnings and shipping notifications. If you receive notice or an enticing offer, do not click on the link. Instead, go directly to the company’s website to verify the offer is legitimate.
- Do your homework: Cyber thieves are fond of setting up fake e-commerce sites. Prior to making a purchase, read reviews to hear what others say about the merchant. In addition, look for a physical location and any customer service information. It’s also a good idea to call the merchant to confirm that they are legitimate.
- Consider your payment options: Using a credit card is often recommended over a debit card, as there are more consumer protections for credit cards if something goes awry.
- Watch what you give away: Be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete your transaction. If the merchant is requesting more data than you feel comfortable sharing, cancel the transaction. You only need to fill out required fields at checkout and should never save your payment information in your profile.
- Keep tabs on your bank and credit card statements: Be sure to continuously check your accounts for any unauthorized activity. Good recordkeeping goes hand-in-hand with managing your cybersecurity.
For additional #HolidaySafety preparedness information, visit Ready.Illinois.gov.
SOURCE: IEMA news release
Read More Tips From The Better Business Bureau
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