Cyber Monday is the day when all employers cringe. They know that many employees will spend a portion of their work hours making online holiday purchases instead of working.
According to Wikipedia, “American employers have been cracking down on employees using company equipment and company time for non-work-related purposes, including Cyber Monday. As of November 2011, 22% of employers fired an employee for using the Internet for non-work related activity; 7% of HR managers surveyed fired an employee for holiday shopping; and 54% of employers blocked employees from accessing certain websites.*
For employees who spend time making purchases either at lunch, break time, or at the end of the work day, here are some tips to stay safe on the largest online activity day of the year.
- Make sure your desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or mobile device has some form of anti-virus protection.
- If you use your laptop or mobile device at a coffee shop or other location with free Wi-Fi, don’t use your credit card online until you are home or away from the free Wi-Fi.
- If you enter your credit card or other personal information online, make sure that the website in the browser starts with HTTPS and not just HTTP because the HTTPS encrypts the information you enter (credit card details, etc.)
- Be very careful when checking your emails during the holiday season. Many will say “Free” or “Discount” in the subject line, but if you don’t know the sender, don’t open the email – just delete. The emails could be spam and contain a virus or malware.
- While doing your online research, be wary of phishing, or clicking on what you think is a legitimate site but instead, turns out to be a site infected with malware. For your protection, stay with the reputable sites to do you research: Amazon, Google, Bing, etc.
- While Apps may ask for access to your personal information, you can definitely click “no.”
- Make sure to “disable” the GPS location-sharing function on your phone and mobile devices. There may be times when you don’t want your location included with your online activities.
- Some sites request a password. Use a different password than what you use for your regular sites.
- Remember to log off from a site once you complete your transaction. Even better, close your browser.
Lastly, if you’re on the road on Cyber Monday and decide to use your laptop or mobile device while waiting for your plane, don’t use airport Wi-Fi. Hackers are setting up bogus access points to steal your info.
Do you have a Cyber Monday safety tip to add to this list?
*Cyber Monday in the Workplace Infographic: http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/11/22/shopping-on-the-clock-cyber-monday-in-the-workplace-infographi/
Image Source: Microsoft Image Gallery