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Ask Sabiha: A Biweekly Column on How to Protect Yourself against Cyber Villains

Hi, my name is Sabiha and I’m a student at Roosevelt just like you. I am working with Roosevelt’s technology department in cyber security. I am also a junior in the cyber security program.  You can ask me about cyber security, phishing emails, emailing scams, and anything that has you worried about your own data security! 

So, let’s get to it… 

The shopping season is underway with an avalanche of discount emails in your inbox. Finding the best items for the lowest price is a big deal for college students. However, holiday phish attacks are also a big deal.  

The holiday shopping season is the time when cyber villains plan their biggest attacks centering on pre and postBlack Friday shoppers. While Black Friday sees a significant spike in attacks this surge continues up to Christmas and New Year’s. 

Here’s your guide to shopping safely this holiday season:  

  1. Limit shopping to known stores, especially online. Avoid shopping for too good to be true deals such as 80-90% off on items these websites are fraudulent and will only take your money.  
  2. If you do find a reasonable discount offer in your email, always avoid clicking on any links in the email. Rather search the name of retailer and find the discount on their website. This will allow you to avoid clicking on any malicious links and verifying that the discount offer is legitimate.  
  3. Always use a credit card to make purchases because they provide protection against fraudulent purchases. Credit card companies can freeze your account, provide new card information, and even reimburse you if you get phished. On the other hand, debit cards access funds directly from your bank account and banks do not provide any protection against fraudulent purchases. Your money is gone.   

There you have it! Three tips on shopping cautiously this Holiday!  

Let me know what else you would like to learn more about! 

#cyber #security #Holiday #shopping #scams

Sabiha • December 2, 2019


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