The holiday season is a magical time of year filled with joy, festivities, and everyone’s favorite–holiday gifts! It’s also a time when the digital world buzzes with incredible deals and discounts, and, unfortunately, a surge in email scams and cybersecurity threats. As Black Friday and the holiday shopping season approaches, staying safe while shopping from your smartphone becomes more critical than ever. Secure smartphone shopping ensures the upcoming holidays are filled with cheer, not cybersecurity fears.

Tis’ The Season – For Email Scams

During the holiday season, cybercriminals are hard at work, taking advantage of the increased online shopping traffic. Email scams, phishing attempts, fake websites, and malicious apps have all become more prevalent. In fact, statistics show that the number of phishing attacks and scam emails spikes during this time. With this in mind, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and take precautions to protect your personal information and finances.

Smartphone Shopping Best Practices

When you take the proper steps to protect yourself, shopping from your phone is easy and highly convenient.

Keep Your Smartphone and Apps Updated

Ensure your phone’s operating system and shopping apps are up to date. Developers release updates to address security vulnerabilities, so it’s crucial to stay current.

Strong and Unique Passwords

Use strong, unique passwords for your shopping accounts and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This extra layer of security can prevent unauthorized access.

Recognizing Phishing Attempts

Be cautious when opening emails. Pay attention to suspicious sender addresses, spelling errors, and unsolicited attachments. Scammers may send fake deals in order to get people to click on suspicious links. If in doubt, do not click on any links or download attachments.

Secure Payment Methods

Consider the security of your payment methods when shopping online. Even when browsing on a cell phone, credit cards, and mobile wallets tend to offer better security compared to debit cards. Additionally, consider using mobile wallet apps like Apple Pay or Google Pay, which generate unique transaction codes for added security. PayPal is another great way to keep your checkout secure. 

App Store Safety

Downloading apps from unofficial sources can be risky. Stick to trusted app stores like Apple’s App Store or Google Play Store to ensure you’re downloading legitimate and secure apps.

Secure Wi-Fi Networks

Shopping on the go? Avoid making purchases on public Wi-Fi networks, as they are more susceptible to eavesdropping. Use a secure, private network for online shopping.

In the digital age, it’s essential to adapt our habits to protect ourselves from cyber threats. Taking these precautions allows you to shop from your phone with confidence, knowing that your online shopping experience is secure. After all, even personal cell phones are often connected to businesses, with employees signing into work-related email accounts or storing other business information for on-the-go access. Safe cellphone shopping ensures both personal and business information is protected.