Holiday shopping increases the use of online shopping services and unsecured Wi-Fi in public places. Using a Wi-Fi hot spot at the airport or mall to shop on line is a greater risk this time of the year. Among other risks, free Wi-Fi links may not be legitimate and often have similar names to the airport, hotel or store near you offering free Wi-Fi.
Also, most all legitimate shopping service website purchasing locations have addresses beginning with "HTTPS" vs. "HTTP" (the "S" is for "Secure") which indicates a layer of security (encryption) to the connection not present when the address is preceded solely by HTTP. Shopping from a HTTP location makes it more likely a hacker can gain access to your personal information.
Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.