How to Shop Safely this Cyber Month

October is all about cooler temperatures, Halloween, and pumpkin spice lattes. But, here at NordPass, it’s all about celebrating the cybersecurity awareness initiative — Cyber Month.

We feel that, this year, it’s more important than ever to share our knowledge about secure online shopping. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us will look for deals online, meaning we will also be more vulnerable to scams and fraud. In this post, we will share some tips on how to shop safely and stress-free this season.

How cyber month started... and how it’s getting on

Launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the US Department of Homeland Security back in October 2004, Cyber Month aims to raise awareness of the importance of digital security. What initially started as a national effort has now grown into an international affair with different initiatives happening worldwide, including here at NordPass.

Surge in online shopping increases the risk of cyber scams

This year’s Cyber Month is somewhat different, since the global online activity has spiked to an all-time high for an obvious reason — the COVID-19 pandemic. But the surge in online traffic, especially online shopping, is expected to increase even more as we look forward to Singleton Day, Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday.

This increase in online shopping presents serious cybersecurity concerns. Too often, we get overexcited and distracted by flashy deals, which — let’s admit it — makes us vulnerable to online scams.

How to stay safe

During Cyber Month, scammers will ramp up their efforts and try to get your sensitive details using phishing and online shopping fraud tactics.

Simply put, a phishing attack involves cybercrooks sending out malicious emails designed to trick you into providing your sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, credit card details, etc.

Online shopping frauds are often so sophisticated that they are tricky to identify. Cybercriminals can mimic well-established brands so convincingly that you won’t even notice you’re buying shoes on a Louis Buitton website instead of the original one. Read more about the most common Cyber Month scams in our dedicated blog post.

To keep your head cool and reduce the risk of being scammed, there are several steps you should follow:

  • Verify the source of every email about the best holiday shopping deals;

  • Avoid clicking on links or pop-ups that look suspicious;

  • Check the credibility of online stores offering discounts or coupons that seem to be too good to be true;

  • Safeguard all your online accounts and enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever possible;

  • Update your software to get the latest bug fixes.

Prevent online scams with NordPass Premium

Cybercrooks are savvy and creative. They find new and unexpected ways to get what they want, and sometimes common sense alone might not be enough to protect you.

Passwords are your first line of defense. However, most people choose to protect their accounts with easy-to-remember passwords or, even worse, reuse them. Little do they know that, this way, they make it ten times easier for cybercriminals to do their job. All a hacker needs is get hold of one password, and they will have access to all your accounts, be it social media or your online banking.

Securing your online accounts with complex and lengthy passwords can radically lower the risk of getting hacked online. However, remembering 16 random characters is no piece of cake. With a password manager like NordPass, you can generate complex passwords and store them in a single place to shop securely.

Here’s what else you can do with NordPass:

  • Store credit card details to have them handy when shopping online.

  • Keep secure notes, such as gifts-to-buy lists.

  • Store your personal information, such as delivery address, to check out faster.

  • Autofill passwords and log in to your accounts with a click.

Shop safer this Cyber Month. Get NordPass 2-year Premium plan with 70% OFF. Offer valid until December 1. The deal does not apply to Family or Business plans.

Monica Webster
Verified author
Monica is the spirit of our content team. Her bubbliness and creativity sparkle her articles. She loves to investigate various security related problems and bring useful tips to readers. When she is not writing about technology, she explores art.
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