With widespread shipping and supply-chain problems—and many more people shopping online instead of in-person, thanks to Covid—it’s a jungle out there this season. Consequently, we are seeing a big uptick in scams and smishing (Greek to you? We’ll explain below!). It’s important to check your sources and make sure that you’re not being taken for a ride.
Take a look at our tips for practicing cyber safety this holiday season:
- Most of us are familiar with phishing—email scams that try to get hold of your personal information for nefarious purposes. Now that the bulk of those messages get sent to our spam folders, say hello to “smishing,” which is phishing via text. If you receive questionable shipping notifications, alerts to special deals, or ways to get hold of items that are sold out at well-known retailers, send that text straight to the trash.
- If you’re seeing advertisements for an in-demand item that’s sold out at reputable retailers this year, keep your wallet closed and find another gift.
- Keep your operating system, apps and antivirus software up-to-date and—whenever possible—enable two-factor authentication, which sends a confirmation notification to your phone.
- Use a credit card rather than a debit card for online purchases. If you end up making a purchase with a scammer, you don’t want them to have a direct line to your bank account.
- Scammers are getting much more skillful at their craft, and rather than garbled English you are likely to be taken in by fake shipping notifications with real corporate names and logos. If you receive a suspect message about shipping, don’t click on any links, but go to the company website and enter the tracking number there to see if the notification is genuine.
- If you’re using the same email, social media and website passwords from 10 years ago, then it’s a good idea to update to stronger and unique passwords.
- Look out for “amazing” phony deals and ads popping up in your social media feeds. If you don’t know the retailer, don’t fall for it.
In general, the old adage still holds—if it looks too good to be true, then it likely is. That said, there are some genuinely great deals to be had out there, so keep an eye on trusted retail sources, including Amazon, where we are seeing fluctuating prices on popular items this year, including AirPods Pro.
And also, take a look at Noopl’s current and upcoming Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Holiday sales—we have plenty in stock, so there’s no need to worry about the supply chain. It is our belief that there’s no better gift for those with hearing loss than an affordable tool that will get them back in conversation with family and friends, especially during the holidays.