Tips to stay safe during the holiday season

This holiday season, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office has some tips to stay safe.
• Beware of phishing websites designed to steal your username, passwords, and payment card information. Cyber criminals commonly build webpages which look like popular internet shopping and banking websites, even using valid digital certificates to make the websites appear legitimate. Although it is important to check the address of the website you are visiting starts with HTTPS, double-check the URL to make sure you are visiting the real site.
• Be on the lookout for indications a website may be compromised with a payment card skimmer. Profit- motivated cybercrime groups, known collectively as Magecart, inject malicious codes into ecommerce websites to steal payment card information from online shoppers. Signs a legitimate site may be compromised by Magecart include being asked twice to enter payment or login information or being prompted to enter payment card details before being forwarded to a secure payment service provider. No matter where you shop, though, it is always a good idea to monitor bank account statements closely for unauthorized charges and suspicious activity.
• Gift cards: Don’t get stuck holding a dud. Criminals often try to steal serial numbers and PINs from gift cards before they are purchased so they can quickly drain any amount unsuspecting buyers load onto them upon activation. To avoid raising suspicion, they replace the protective coating which covers these numbers with tape purchased cheaply online. Carefully check gift cards before purchasing and look for any evidence of physical tampering and, if you receive a gift card, use it as quickly as possible.
• Avoid connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Attackers can easily intercept communications transmitted between mobile devices and Wi-Fi networks in hotels, airports, coffee shops, or other public places to steal passwords, payment details, or other sensitive information without your knowledge. Disable your devices’ Wi-Fi when not in use and set them to “ask” before joining new or unknown Wi-Fi networks.
• When possible, use credit cards rather than debit cards online and at physical retailers. If your payment card numbers are stolen or comprised, using credit cards can limit your liability for fraudulent charges. Debit cards often do not afford these same protections, so any charges incurred will be withdrawn directly from your bank account and can take up to 60 days to reverse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.