Protect Yourself Online When Holiday Shopping Online
By The Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign
The holiday season offers shoppers some of the best online deals of the year, but it also comes with potential, increased risk to your online safety. In addition to a rise in online shopping during November and December, there is also an increased risk of falling victim to an online scam or cybercriminals.
When shopping online, it’s important for consumers to take steps to protect their identity and finances. Just as consumers have migrated towards online shopping, credit card thieves have started shifting their efforts online as well. During the holidays, deeply discounted products look appealing and shoppers make quick purchasing decisions without always taking into consideration the online purchasing risks that can be present. Millions of Americans have had their online accounts hacked and personal information compromised because of stolen credentials or weak logins. As hackers get more resourceful, usernames and passwords – which have been the fundamental account security mechanism – are no longer a sufficient solution to secure accounts. Luckily, there is a simple way to secure your online accounts and better protect yourself against online crime: strong authentication.
Enabling stronger authentication, sometimes called multi-factor or two-factor authentication, goes beyond just a username and password and is a useful way to lock down your login information and subsequently your purchases.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign encourages you to enable a strong authentication on your sensitive online accounts such as your email, banking, and social media accounts today. Taking advantage of the strong authentication – such as a unique one-time code sent to your mobile device, biometric features, or security keys – that are offered by the majority of popular websites and services can go a long way in protecting your personal information online.
The White House recently launched the “Lock Down Your Login” campaign to encourage all Americans to protect themselves online with strong authentication. For more information on strong authentication and the new campaign, please visit https://stopthinkconnect.org/campaigns/lock-down-your-login. You’ll find specific advice on how to turn on strong authentication on a variety of websites and services that Americans use each day.
For more tips and information on how to stay safe online, please visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect.