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Holiday shopping cyber security: Tips for protecting yourself

It's important to build a digital fence before you start shopping online.

The first scam to be aware of is e-skimming.

Cyber criminals use skimming codes on payment-processing websites to steal credit card and personal information. They usually target third party vendors and smaller websites and businesses since they don’t have the operations to ward off an attack.

Another major issue at this time of year: Hackers tend to hover near online shopping carts.

Cyber criminals are getting our data in real time, which makes it more valuable in the underground market since we don’t know our information is being taken. As you’re information goes through the website and your purchase is made final, your credit card number is also being siphoned off to a scammer’s server. You don’t even know it’s happened until they try to use your info.

You also need to protect yourself from these cyber attacks. When you are on the checkout page of a business, make sure the website is secure with the lock icon in the search bar. Also, make sure your device that you’re using has the latest security update and your computer has anti-virus software on it.

Never use your debit card when buying something online. Always use a credit card.

Finally, stay vigilant during and after the holidays. Watch your bank information and statements for suspicious activity.