Cyber Monday is around the corner, and the travel business is getting ready to hit you up with some great deals. If all goes as planned for them, you’ll rush to pry open your wallet and book your next trip at a fantastic discount. Ready? Well, not so fast …
There are a lot of other people who want access to your credit card, too. But, they don’t want to give you anything in return. The scammers will be out in full force, and it’s incumbent upon you to protect yourself.
Jeff Horne, threat research director at web security company Webroot, has a few ideas for how you can keep your cash safe on Cyber Monday – and all the time, frankly. Let’s take a look at five recommendations from a guy who’s in the business of knowing what the online bad guys are up to:
Horne recommends the following actions:1. Horse’s mouth: don’t click a link to make a purchase. Instead, go straight to the site. This will protect you from the risks associated with malicious links. If an airline, hotel or online travel agent offers up a deal, just go straight to the company to buy it.
2. Password discipline: don’t use your mom’s maiden name on every site where you have an account. Mix it up a bit to add some protection for your online shopping activity.
3. Pay attention: Horne suggests looking for the “signs of security,” such as “https” in the address bar. Make sure that the travel company is putting some security measures in place to protect you. In addition to keeping the thieves at bay, it also shows that a company is interested in taking care of you, making it worthy of your purchase and your loyalty.
4. Choose carefully: use a credit card instead of a debit card to stop payments immediately if something goes awry. Also, your risk will be limited to available credit, rather than the entirety of your bank account. PayPal users: monitor the account from which PayPal draws to make sure it isn’t compromised.
5. ‘Tis the season: if you get a “confirmation” email that doesn’t have a tracking number, delete it. If you aren’t sure about whether a purchase has been confirmed, go back to the travel site where you made it and view your order history.