Black Friday is one of the most lucrative shopping days of the year for retailers. Many retailers extend sale pricing throughout this period in an effort to maximize profits and engage eager shoppers, but shoppers aren’t the only ones looking for deals. This event is particularly appealing for hackers given the surge in shoppers, all of whom are potential targets. Malicious people may be able to obtain personal information (credit card numbers, phone numbers, account numbers, and address details) by stealing your wallet, eavesdropping on telephone conversation, searching through your trash (a practice known as dumpster diving), or picking up a receipt at a restaurant that has your account number on it. If a thief succeeds in gathering enough information, he or she may be able to impersonate you to purchase items, open new accounts, or apply for loans.
The Guyana National CIRT encourages holiday shoppers to take the following identity theft precautions:
- Take advantage of security features. Passwords and other security features add layers of protection if used appropriately. (see Choosing and Protecting Passwords.)
- Check privacy policies. Take precautions when providing information and make sure to check published privacy policies to see how a company will use or distribute your information. (see Protecting Your Privacy.)
- Check your statements. Keep a record of your purchases and copies of confirmation pages and compare them to your bank statements. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.
- Be careful what information you publicize. Attackers may be able to piece together information from a variety of sources. Avoid posting personal data in public forums. (see Staying Safe on Social Networking Sites.)
• Black Friday Shopping: Protect Your Identity (US-Cert)