According to a recent survey, Americans spent over $200 billion online during the holiday shopping season of 2022, and 97% of respondents said they planned to keep up the trend. But as e-commerce grows, so do the hazards that come with it. According to the FBI’s IC3 analysis, scammers will lose more than $300 million by 2022.

Concerns about personal cybersecurity are on the rise, which raises issues regarding how to shop safely online. According to a recent survey by Yubico and OnePoll, 39% of participants acknowledged using the same password across numerous accounts, even though 80% of respondents expressed concern about the security of their online accounts.

The following are five essential suggestions for preserving your internet safety as the Christmas season draws near:

1. Pay attention to the recipient of your information. Personal information is a common tool used by scammers to access accounts. According to Yubico’s survey, 32% of participants were unconfident in their ability to spot phony internet stores. Watch out for websites that request strange payment methods, a lot of unnecessary or unneeded information, or offer coupons that seem too good to be true.

2. Remain informed about current frauds, such as those pertaining to monitoring data. Check the status of your package at the source and ignore demands for unsolicited personal information. By going directly to the vendor’s website and not via links in emails or texts, you can sign up for tracking notifications and look into questionable messages.

3. Make use of secure payment options like credit cards or reliable intermediaries like PayPal. Give up sending wire transfers or sharing banking details online.

4. Keep your login information secure. Using passwords as defense mechanisms is no longer sufficient, as evidenced by Yubico’s survey, which found that 49% of participants do not utilize multi-factor authentication (MFA). Use phishing-resistant MFA techniques, like PassKeys or security keys like the YubiKey, for a stronger line of defense. These techniques are better than passwords because they eliminate the need for users to manually enter or recall character sequences. YubiKey is compatible with platforms including 1Password, WhatsApp, Amazon, Apple, Google, and social media websites like X (previously Twitter) and Meta.

5. Give the most valuable items the best possible protection. Set up hardware-backed security keys to safeguard your mobile environment, use phishing-resistant PassKeys to secure your email, and make sure your primary identity providers have robust multi-factor authentication. This includes your password manager and any services used for ‘Sign in with ___’ choices.

You may have a more safe online shopping experience this holiday season and beyond by paying attention to these suggestions. Invest in hardware-backed, adaptable, and phishing-resistant authenticators to get ready for a new era of online security.

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