To shop online or not shop online….that is the question this holiday season.

Uncategorized Posted Dec 17, 2012 by Jennifer Torode

Shopping online is fun, easy, saves time and there’s something exciting about seeing a package with your name on it resting on your front steps.

Many of my family and friends surf the web more frequently this time of year, jumping from site to site, looking to buy their children and those they adore presents.  They don’t bat an eye giving their credit card details to online store websites and many have signed up to receive sales from a variety of retailers. Sadly, I know that many of them have lax security on their laptops or PC and some are not as up-to-date on the latest tricks that scammers and thieves use.

Having worked at a security company for more than a decade and now working with several security clients such as Invincea and Co3 Systems, I often cringe at their cavalier attitude. ‘Tis the season that thieves are looking to push the holiday goodwill to the curb to tackle online users’ credit card details and other sensitive information.  So, when the time is right, I ask questions, give some insight as to what my security clients are seeing and recommending and I make a few suggestions.

Recently one of my clients, Anup Ghosh, CEO at Invincea, provided some tips to TechNews Daily, “How the Experts Dodge Online Shopping Scams”—an article that I passed along to a few family members and pals. Ghosh suggests that consumers should question every email and online-shopping deal that they come across and that they keep banking websites and other financial pages bookmarked as an alternative to clicking on emailed links that they receive.  He also recommends tossing online retailer sites into the mix.

Another client, Gant Redmon, Esq., General Counsel & VP of Business Development at Invincea, also provides some really wise online shopping advice this holiday season—not to the average consumer but to the security elite. Redmon asked SecurityWeek’s readers if they treat themselves and their family with the same level of diligence and oversight as they do their work colleagues. In his article, “The Most Plunder-ful time of the Year: Protecting Your Family’s Financial Identity During the Online Shopping Season,” he suggests that organizations identify and dedicate a person to order holiday-related gifts—the same concept can be applied at home.

There are plenty of security and privacy tips available, especially this time of year and it’s up to each individual shopper to harness this knowledge and avoid the booby traps.  With a history of Christmas shopping procrastination, it’s a bit too late to order gifts and get them in time for the big day.  Therefore, I suppose I’ve somewhat limited the odds of being a potential victim.  However, I realize that I’m a target throughout the year, both online and in the physical world, and that makes me remain vigilant on a daily a basis.