Will you join half of all Americans this holiday season by making a purchase online? If so, you could be a victim of cybercrime. More than 40 percent of survey respondents were victims of cyber-attacks last year, costing each an average of $298, according to a 2013 Norton Cybercrime report. DeVry University professor Dr. Rajin Koonjbearry offers tips for consumers to avoid becoming part of this statistic.
The biggest online shopping day of the year is Cyber Monday, Dec. 1, with last year’s sales reaching a record $2.29 billion (Internet Retailer). Industry analysts expect online sales to grow this year, especially via mobile devices (EWeek.com). As Americans head online this holiday season, cybercrime is a serious threat most aren’t protecting themselves against.
Despite the high risk of cybercrime –eight security breaches were responsible for exposing more than 10 million identities in 2013 (Symantec) – and the fact that nearly 70 percent of Americans frequently or occasionally worry about identity theft (Gallup), Norton found nearly half of smartphone and tablet users do not take even the basic precautions to protect their mobile devices, such as using passwords, installing security software or backing up files.
Cyber security expert Dr. Koonjbearry, from DeVry University’s College of Engineering and Information Sciences, provides the following tips to keep consumers safe while shopping online this season:
· Be cautious clicking email links.
· Keep your passwords secure.
· Update anti-virus software regularly.
· Shop on secure websites.
· Get rid of apps you don’t use.