Cybersecurity tips for holiday shopping, travel - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Cybersecurity tips for holiday shopping, travel

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WSIL -- With less than two weeks until Christmas, many have wrapped up their holiday shopping or are hopefully close to it. But, gift shopping means swiping your debit or credit cards countless times or using personal information while shopping online.

Tom Imboden, Interim Director for SIU's School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies, says this is the type of data hackers are trying to get their hands on, and they can use the information multiple ways. 

"If they're able to get the credit card numbers, they can use those numbers to create spoofed or faked credit cards. But the big thing that we think about is identity theft," Imboden explains 

Although, it's not just holiday shopping that you have to be careful with, it's also travel. Credit card or debit card information is needed to book hotels, flights and even rental cars. 

"Even when using cash to pay, they (hotels) still want your card on file in case of incidentals," Imboden says. "I can’t think of a hotel or some travel-related business that doesn’t require identification and some sort of a credit card payment." 

Imboden suggests being proactive when it comes to cybersecurity like using credit cards instead of debit cards for purchases. "That money, even though you might get it back because it was fraudulently used, it might be unavailable for a while," he says. 

Imboden also recommends monitoring your accounts and reporting any suspicious activity, "Regularly change passwords. If you suspect that you've had some sort of breach, request new cards." 

Be sure to use these cybersecurity tips to protect yourself during the holiday season and all year around. 

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