I have done more online shopping this year than ever before, and I know that I am not alone. With the holidays approaching, this will only increase because of the pandemic, and hackers and fraudsters know it.
A recent report by GBG entitled “GBG State of Digital Identity: 2020,” states that 47 percent of individuals have open up a new online shopping account, 31 percent have opened a new social media account and 35 percent a new online bank account in 2020. In addition, one third of consumers 75 years or older have opened a new online account in 2020.
Additional depressing statistics from that report states that one in five individuals have been affected by identity fraud this year and were informed that their personal information has been exposed following the data breach. Therefore, one third of consumers have become more aware of and consumed about fraud and believe their personal information is exposed on the dark web.
GBG estimates that during the upcoming holidays, each online retailer will have to combat an average of 20,000 fraud attempts.
With these statistics in mind, a recap of tips to think about to protect yourself while online shopping during this holiday season may be helpful:
- Be wary of emails with unbelievable sales that ask you to click on embedded links or attachments
- When shopping online, visit the retailer’s actual website instead of a link that has been provided to you through an email
- Use a credit card and not your debit card for all ongoing shopping
- Use a dedicated credit card for all online shopping so if there is a compromise of that credit card it is limited to that one credit card
- When asked if you want the online shopping site to save your credit card number, click “no thanks”
- Be wary of gift card promotions or requests
- Watch your credit card account statements closely
- Check your credit report frequently
During this holiday season, support your local retailers, shop safely and have a happy, safe and healthy and Thanksgiving.