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  • Writer's pictureBurton Kelso, Tech Expert

How to Avoid Holiday Shopping Scams

Are you ready for the holiday shopping season? It seems every year people spend more and more money during Black Friday and Cyber Monday for holiday gifts and donate to charities on Giving Tuesday. Unfortunately, cybercriminals know this and will do their best to get access to your credit card swipes, your identity, and online transactions. With the large amount of cybercrime and data breaches that have taken place this year, it’s more important than ever to make sure you are being vigilant and taking steps to protect yourself. Here are a few tips to keep you safe as you donate to your favorite charities and buy gifts for your friends and loved ones:

How to Protect Yourself on Black Friday. A lot of the breaches that occur on Black Friday occur when you're shopping at brick-and-mortar stores from point-of-sale (PoS) systems. These breaches can occur when a criminal gets access to the PoS system by installing malware designed to collect your information. Hackers can also install malware in online shopping carts that send your banking information directly to them. This can be avoided if you use secured payment methods such as using cash when you're making in-store purchases. If you're like me and hate carrying around cash, or you prefer shopping online for Black Friday, regular and pre-paid credit cards are always the best option. Credit card companies offer better protection against fraud. Most banks do so as well, but if your debit card is compromised, it will take longer to get access to those stolen funds.