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DHS Warns: Only Shop Through Trusted Sources

DHS has been doing a very good job of working with experts in industry to capture best practices for a wide range of cybersecurity issues. They provide insights via their website at:

On the topic of shopping safely, they remind all to be very careful, including while searching online. They say:

You wouldn’t go into a store with boarded up windows and without signage – the same rules apply online. If it looks suspicious, something’s probably not right.

Image of a website globe with verified check mark. Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor.
Image of a computer screen with an magnifying glass with an eye on it. Some attackers may try to trick you by creating malicious websites that appear to be legitimate. Always verify the legitimacy before supplying any information. If you’ve never heard of it before, check twice before handing over your information.
Image of wi-fi symbol with lock unlocked and dash through it Don’t connect to unsecure public Wi-Fi, especially to do your banking or shopping.
Image of an envelope with a fishing hook through it. Most of us receive emails from retailers about special offers during the holidays. Cyber criminals will often send phishing emails—designed to look like they’re from retailers—that have malicious links or that ask for you to input your personal or financial information.
Image of url field. Don’t click links or download attachments unless you’re confident of where they came from. If you’re unsure if an email is legitimate, type the URL of the retailer or other company into your web browser as opposed to clicking the link.
Image of an envelope with password. Never provide your password, or personal or financial information in response to an unsolicited email. Legitimate businesses will not email you asking for this information.
Image of url field with a locked lock. Make sure your information is being encrypted. Many sites use secure sockets layer (SSL) to encrypt information. Indications that your information will be encrypted include a URL that begins with “https:” instead of “http:” and a padlock icon. If the padlock is closed, the information is encrypted.

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