Written by Alayna Okerlund | Last Updated February 24th, 2020Alayna Okerlund is a finance-focused Senior Content Strategist at BestCompany.com. Over the past three years, Alayna's finance-related research has helped readers feel more financially confident. She has worked with several reputable experts and has provided content for a variety of well-known publications like Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Lifehacker, and more.
This is part two of our holiday shopping security article series
The holidays are just around the corner which means hundreds of thousands of people are starting to check off their holiday shopping lists. As mentioned in part one of this series, the sheer amount of easy-target holiday shoppers tend to draw out ruthless identity thieves and cyber criminals.
To help holiday shoppers arm themselves against cyber- and identity-related threats, we asked some experts to provide advice regarding holiday shopping security.
Dr. William Rials, Associate Director and Professor of Applied Computing and Technology at Tulane University School of Professional Advancement
"Avoid connecting to the store’s public Wi-Fi. During busy holiday criminals will use public Wi-Fi to scan potential victims. Also, many criminals will deploy fake Wi-Fi hotspots that offer free internet but are actually used to steal your personal information. It is challenging to spot the malicious Wi-Fi hotspots; use your cellular internet if you are not in a trusted and secure Wi-Fi zone.
Steve Weisman, Scam, Identity Theft Expert, and Owner of Scamicide.com
"When shopping in a brick and mortar store, try to go to stores that use the more secure chip credit cards rather than those that still use the magnetic stripe. The chip cards are much more secure. Shopping in stores that still use the magnetic stripe credit cards leaves you in danger of a rogue employee taking your credit card and swiping it through a small skimmer to steal the information from your card to use for their own purchases. Keep your card in sight whenever you make a purchase to avoid this problem."
Victor Congionti, CEO of Proven Data
"When shopping in-store, thieves use skimmer technology to steal your credit card numbers via the transaction terminal. Inspect where you are inserting your card and make sure there is nothing suspicious about the device."
Steven Hausman, President of Hausman Technology Presentations