CONSUMER ALERT: Will your information be safe on Cyber Monday?

CONSUMER ALERT: Beware of security risks on Cyber Monday

WASHINGTON (Gray TV) - The deals are hot and consumers want to take advantage. But criminals are also hoping to cash in this Cyber Monday.

Keystrokes in place of shopping carts and long lines. No hand-to-hand combat with neighbors over the last tv in the store. But danger looms on the web, bad actors are licking their chops ahead of Cyber Monday.

“Trying to find that person that you can trick into clicking on a link or downloading a malicious attachment,” said Jeanette Manfra, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity for the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Manfra says with one wrong move, your information could be compromised; credit card, address, even your social security number.

And a day like Cyber Monday, the holy grail of online shopping holidays, is a breeding ground for criminals to prey on naive shoppers.

She says consumers can protect themselves in a number of ways - strong passwords, update the software on your computer and mobile device, use a credit card rather than debit, and shop on sites with good reputations.

The Cyber Readiness Institute wants shoppers to understand that just because a business is bigger does not mean the protections are superior to smaller businesses.

“A cyber-resilient environment can be a business differentiator,” said Kiersten Todt, Managing Director of the Cyber Readiness Institute.

Todt says company size doesn’t matter...many invest in security because their reputations are on the line.

She still cautions shoppers to double-check what their retailer of choice is doing to maintain safety, “Take control of your privacy, protect yourself.”

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