Online sales will increase by 15 percent this year. It’s a good bet that one of the busiest days of online shopping will be “Cyber Monday,” the Monday after Thanksgiving, when many online retailers have enticing sales. With increased online shopping, of course, come increased opportunities for hackers intent on identity theft.
Before you make any purchases on Cyber Monday, make sure all your software is up to date. It’s tempting to keep clicking “ignore,” swearing you’ll download those updates later, but you really shouldn’t. As soon as these patches come out, hackers use them to reverse-engineer methods for getting into the computers that haven’t been updated. And it’s not just for your operating system and browser; an outdated version of a plug-in such as Flash can act as a portal that lets identity-stealing viruses onto your computer. Around Cyber Monday, these sites tend to take the form of sale “preview” sites, claiming to provide advance ads or coupon codes for the sales while actually infecting your computer.
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