A great deal of shopping takes place online. In the first 21 days of November 2017, Americans spent $28.6 billion shopping online. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have many ways to steal credit card numbers or identities from online shoppers.
Cybersecurity expert Dr. Yair Levy, who works for the U.S. Secret Service and the FBI, states that identity theft is the biggest risk for consumers who shop online. Online shoppers enter all of the information—name, address, date of birth, credit card numbers—that cybercriminals want in order to steal your identity.
Identity thieves often use phishing scams to steal online shoppers' personal data. Phishing emails are those appearing to be from a trusted online retailer, like Wal-Mart or Amazon, and offering huge discounts. When a user clicks on the fake link and enters the requested personal data, it goes to the hackers.
Cybercriminals also create free Wi-Fi networks with legitimate sounding names, and then steal your information when you use them. Once you connect to their network, cybercriminals can see your online activity and infect your device with malware that will record the data you enter anytime you shop online, even after you leave their network. Doreen Christensen "Online shopping safety tips from a cybersecurity expert," www.sun-sentinel.com (Nov. 28, 2017).