The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Thursday launched a public awareness initiative to inform the public of common risks around the holiday shopping season and encourage basic cybersecurity practices.
As the busiest shopping season of the year, the holidays frequently see an uptick in cybercrime and scams, CISA said. CISA’s launch includes a website complete with easy-to-follow safety tips for online shopping and a video message from CISA Director Christopher Krebs. Over the course of the next month, the agency plans to share additional resources and safety information for consumers to keep in mind as they shop online this holiday season.
“The holiday season is a prime time for hackers, scammers, and online thieves,” said CISA Director Christopher Krebs. “The good news is you don’t need to be a cybersecurity pro to defend yourself. It’s often the simple things that make a big difference in protecting yourself and your family from cyber threats and scams. We’re sharing these simple steps to keep consumers safe while shopping online for the best deals and gifts this holiday season.”
While the site includes several security and safety tips online, CISA recommends starting with these three simple steps to keep consumers safe when shopping:
- Check your devices – Before starting the hunt for the best deal, make sure your devices are up-to-date and your accounts have strong passwords. Once you’ve purchased an internet connected device or toy, change the default password and check the devices’ privacy and security settings to make sure you’re not sharing more information than you want.
- Shop through trusted retailers – Before making a purchase and providing any personal or financial information, make sure you’re using a reputable, established vendor.
- Using safe methods for purchases – If you can, use a credit card opposed to a debit card as credit cards often have better fraud protections.
For more information about shopping online safely this holiday season, visit www.CISA.gov/shop-safely.