Monday, November 29 will be this year’s Cyber Monday,  the Monday following the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, and the second busiest online shopping day of the year in the United States.  Cyber Monday is also one of the busiest online shopping days in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.   

 

For the millions of shoppers worldwide expected to shop online this Cyber Monday, Microsoft today issued the following security tips to keep their transactions and information safe:

 

1.      Defend your computer with updated firewall, antivirus, and antispyware software and password-protect your wireless connection at home.

2.      Create strong passwords for all online accounts, particularly those used for banking or shopping. A strong password is at least eight characters long and includes letters, numbers and symbols.

3.      Look for https (“s” stands for secure) in the Web address (URL) and a closed padlock [ ] beside it or in the lower right corner of your browser.

4.      Never make online financial transactions on a public or shared computer.

5.      Consider the reputation of the company or website from which you buy.

6.      Be cautious about storing your password, address, and credit card data on websites.

7.      Give only enough information to make the purchase - be wary if a merchant asks for additional information like bank account information, social security number, etc.

8.      Choose a safe way to pay like a credit or charge card that offers cardholder protection, or a payment service like PayPal, which shields your credit card number from sellers.

9.      Print or save a copy of your order, including the confirmation number or e-mail message, as your receipt.

 

Microsoft also offers a number of free brochures for consumers on safer Internet transactions:

·        Six Basic Rules for Safer Internet Transactions

·        Is the Online World More Dangerous Than the Real World?

·        Online Shopping Safety Tips

·        How To Avoid Online Donation Scams

 

-- David Burt, CIPP, CISSP