Safe online shopping tips

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Cyber Monday, one of the busiest days of the year for online shopping, is quickly approaching (Nov. 30), and a new national survey from ISACA shows employees plan to spend the equivalent of nearly two full work days shopping for the holidays using work computers, creating personal and business security risks.

Tips for online shoppers

1. Use your desktop PC, not your mobile device, because your desktop browser is likely to be more secure.

2. Protect sensitive information by password-protecting both your mobile device and its memory card.

3. Update your anti-virus and anti-malware programs continually.

4. Treat social networking sites with the same caution as other web sites—they are a growing target for fraudsters and virus writers.

5. Be cautious of special offers from unfamiliar sites. Fake online offers and coupons may lead to harmful sites, so be suspicious.

Tips for companies

1. Educate employees. Blocking sites can do more harm than good, causing employees to seek out less secure ways to get around your blockade.

2. Get employees on board with learning by teaching them how to protect their work and home computers.

3. Reinforce what you teach by having employees sign an acceptable-use policy every year.

4. Offer a “safe zone” for holiday shopping—create a virtual sandbox that can be taken down after the holidays.

5. Don’t wait until Cyber Monday to step up security. Many employees begin shopping much earlier.