During the 2018 holiday season, U.S. shoppers spent a whopping $126 Billion on online shopping. In addition, charitable giving greatly increases over the holiday season. Since all of these dollars attract cybercriminals like bees to honey, be extra cautious and adhere to the following tips:

Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
• Do not enter your email address and email/network password online as 99% of the time this is a phishing attack.
Be suspicious of any unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages.
• Do not provide personal information or information about your organization.
• Do not reveal personal or financial information in email.
• If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly. Do not use contact information provided on a website connected to the request. Instead, check previous statements or other legitimate sources for contact information.
• Use caution when shopping online by examining the website address to ensure that it is the correct site. Also, verify that the communication is encrypted (you should see padded lock next to the web address).
Verify a charity’s authenticity before making any donations.