Prime Time for Cyber Crime

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Amazon’s third annual Prime Day is here, meaning it is officially Christmas in July for Amazon Prime subscribers. With new deals being offered every five minutes for 30 straight hours, 54 million subscribers will be overwhelmed with deals and savings.

I am certain that the majority of today’s shoppers will not be thinking about cybersecurity risks that are associated with the amount of activity occurring on Prime Day, as many people view cybersecurity as unattainable or even a hopeless cause.

While there is no 100% guarantee for safe online shopping, some practical measures can certainly minimize your personal cybersecurity risks:

  1. Enable Amazon’s two-step verification (Here’s how to enable it.)
  2. Use your credit card instead of a debit card (prepaid gift cards are even better)
  3. Monitor your bank and credit card statements
  4. Monitor your credit report. Identities are more valuable than credit cards, and have no expiration date.
  5. Verify the URL begins with “https” (rather than “http”), and look for a closed padlock icon at the top or bottom of the page to indicate a secure connection to the website.
  6. Keep an eye out for phishing emails “from” Amazon.

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Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

Lastly, be cautious of purchasing the various connected, or Internet of Things (IoT), devices such as Amazon’s Echo, Echo Dot, Fire Stick, Dash Buttons and FitBits. Although these devices are innovative, timesavers and some will even play more cowbell, they can introduce security risks to your personally identifiable information.

The security-minded among us will recall that in 2015, VTech’s customer database was hacked allowing attackers to gain access to customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) such as addresses, birthdates and passwords – include identity information belonging to children – from Internet-connected electronic learning devices, baby monitors, toys, and other equipment.

Remember: any Internet-connected device can potentially be hacked and leveraged to gain access to sensitive data, most times before the user or manufacturer is even aware.

By utilizing these practical tips, you will be able to decrease your shopping vulnerabilities and resupply on an abundance of dog food or window cleaner.

Be safe and happy shopping!

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