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3 tips to be Cyber Safe When Shopping by Chief Information Security Officer Ryan Melle

With Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season around the corner, it’s even more important to look for red flags and stay cyber safe when shopping online. The planned spend on gifts and other holiday items is expected to be $832 per person this year, according to National Retail Federation. Berkshire Bank Chief Information Officer Ryan Melle offers three suggestions to avoid cyber breaches and stay cyber safe, so it doesn’t cost you more than you plan to spend. 

Ensure your devices and accounts are protected: Make sure your mobile phones, computers, tables are using up to date software, that you are using strong passwords and multifactor authentication if available. Passwords should be different for each account. 

Always verify before sending information or payments: Make sure you are interacting with a reputable and established company. Don’t click links or download attachments unless you are confident the sender is who they claim to be. Make sure your information is encrypted. Only use websites that begin with “https” — the S stands for “secure” — and that show a padlock icon. 

Protect and Monitor Purchases: Use a credit card opposed to a debit card, if possible, to limit your liability for fraudulent charges. Monitor your credit card and bank statements for fraudulent charges. Be wary of emails requesting personal information along with confirming payments or account information.