2020 may be the busiest year ever for online holiday shopping. It might also be the biggest year for online scams. With all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals being advertised, it’s likely that some of your employees will shop online from work, which can put your network at higher risk for a malware or other types of cyberattacks.

We suggest you share these three safety tips with your employees: 

1. Don’t click on emails, ads or popups that advertise holiday deals.

Email phishing scams are the #1 entry method for cyberattacks. And just because you see an ad on a major social media platform like Facebook or Twitter, doesn’t mean it’s safe. If you’re served up an email or ad with a great holiday deal, don’t click! Use your internet browser and go straight to the company’s website.

2. Don’t shop online using public wifi unless you’re using a secure VPN.

Public wifi doesn’t require authentication which means that someone could be using the same network to access your device to steal passwords and credit card numbers. Make sure you’re using a reputable VPN service which  encrypts the data in transit over the internet so it can’t be intercepted. Also, before shopping on a website, look for “https://” in the address bar of the browser window. It doesn’t guarantee that the site is 100% safe but it’s a good sign.

3. Use strong passwords and 2-Factor Authentication (2FA).

Make the decision to create unique and strong passwords for all of your accounts. Sign up for a password saver like LastPass or 1Password to avoid choosing duplicate or easy passwords because you’re worried you’ll forget them. And whenever possible, set up 2FA, especially for your email apps. With 2FA, a unique code will be sent only to you when logging in and the code must be used to gain access. So even if your username and password are in the hands of a shady character, if you have 2FA enabled, he can’t get in without the code.

According to Cyber Security Ventures, a new organization will fall victim to ransomware every 11 seconds by 2021. Don’t be one of them! Ask your employees to follow these simple tips to reduce the risk to themselves and your company.