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Shop safely online this Black Friday and Cyber Monday

The weeks around Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest of the year for online shopping. Over 180 million people will use their computers and smartphones to make purchases.
Here's how to cybershop safely.
Before you begin shopping online, make sure the software that powers your computer and smartphone is up to date
Consider installing antivirus and anti-malware software. A Google search will turn up reputable brands that offer free and paid versions of their software. 
The most common Black Friday cyber rip offs begin with emails that look real, but link to fraudulent websites. (Scroll down this page to see an example.)
Avoid offers priced way below everybody else’s or involve a coupon that you have to pay to use.
Every web address where you shop should begin with “https” — not just “http.”
Whenever you can, make online purchases as a “guest” instead of creating an account. If you must open a new account in order to make a purchase, create a long password that you don’t use anywhere else. 
Avoid buying from eBay sellers who have little or no positive feedback from buyers. And remember that sometimes, positive feedback was posted by the seller to make them look reputable.
Check the web address where you’re shopping. If it’s even slightly off, like,,, just close the page. 
When buying something online, provide only your name, address, phone number and payment information. Avoid sites that require you to create answers to security questions like, “What’s your mother’s maiden name” because fraudsters can use that information to gain access to your other accounts.
Using your mobile device to make purchases? According to RiskIQ, 10% of all “Black Friday” apps available for download over the web are malicious! Stick to Apple and Google’s app stores when downloading any apps. 
Just say “no” if a mobile shopping app asks for access to your contacts, stored passwords or text messages.
Set up text or email alerts from your bank and credit card company to notify you anytime there is activity of $25 or more. 
If you’re buying something on eBay, pay for the purchase with PayPal or a credit card that’s not linked directly to your bank account.
Never transfer money directly out of your bank account to buy something online because often it is impossible to get a refund from the seller. 
Save records of every online transaction and get tracking numbers for shipments. 
If you think you’ve been conned, contact your bank right away and see if they can still stop the payment. 
Remember what consumer advocates say about holiday shopping:
1: Make a gift list, stick to it and avoid running up a balance on your credit cards.
2: Comparison shop for gifts across several online stores and
include the cost of shipping and sales tax as you compare prices.
3: And if you decide not to participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, no sweat!
You may find even better deals later in December.

Click on the image to download and print these tips for safer online shopping this holiday season.

Black Friday _ Protective Life.001.jpeg

Google says the new version of its Chrome web browser, which will be updated automatically on users' computers in December, will block dangerous ads that appear on popular websites like CNN and the New York Times. Many of these ads cannot be closed without closing the entire web page.  

USB Flash drives that store and easily transfer files from computer to computer are still risky to use. Honeywell says nearly half of all companies have been infected with dangerous malware that was hidden on Flash drives that employees plugged in to company computers. 

Late November and early December

are big days for fraudsters to send millions of fake emails. 


They promise incredible deals on purchases and free gift cards.

They want you to enter your credit card and other personal information

into forms on their web pages that are carefully designed to look like the real thing.

Here's one email making the rounds. Can you spot the clues that it's a fake?


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Information Security

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If an email doesn't look quite right
or a website asks for personal information,
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In the upcoming edition of Cybersecurity News
from the Information Security team at Protective Life:
The Most Dangerous Cyber Scams of 2018

Cyber Cartoon: Paul Noth/The New Yorker Collection/The Cartoon Bank

November 2018 b • Edition #58

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