Pro Tips for Cyber Security this Holiday Shopping Season

Black Friday is right around the corner, but many shoppers will opt for the convenience of online shopping this holiday season, on Cyber Monday and beyond. With that in mind, how do consumers assure their personal information is safe from hackers? Dr. Marwan Omar, assistant professor of computer science and information systems at Saint Leo University, offers some helpful advice:

  • “Sensitive web surfing such as online shopping, online banking and online bill pay should only be done on a computer that belongs to you and on a network that you trust. Never conduct this type of confidential web browsing in common areas such as coffee shops, airports or restaurants because criminals rely on unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.”
     
  • “Always check your bank statements and check your online banking activity every day. Report any suspicious transactions to your bank immediately.”
     
  • “Be very wary of providing your personal information to anyone over the phone or online. Many hackers pretend that they are calling you regarding your tax return or health care information, and they try to trick you into disclosing your confidential information. So be careful and never provide your personal information before you know who they are.”
     
  • “Encrypt your personal data on your computer as well as your smartphone. There are free software tools such as BitLocker that you can use to encrypt your entire hard drive, protecting it from being disclosed even if it falls in the wrong hands.”

Source Contact Information

Institution:
Saint Leo University
Title:
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems
Email:
marwan.omar@saintleo.edu
Phone:
352-588-7410