HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - 2014 has been a profitable one for hackers with a record number of data breaches hitting major retailers. That's why Honolulu Police expect Cyber Monday to be very lucrative for online thieves.
"Everybody's anticipating a big upswing in cyber crimes, especially during the holiday season because we kind of let our guard down," says Lt. John McCarthy of the Honolulu Police Department's Financial Crimes Detail.
But he says letting your guard down could be an expensive mistake.
McCarthy has a few tips for those trying to grab deals online.
First, he says you need to avoid launching store websites from your email.
"If you see an ad from your favorite store, get out of the email and go to the store's website," McCarthy suggests.
And when you are trolling store sites, make sure the site is secure. One easy way to check, the address has 'https' instead of just 'http'.
When you do make purchases, check for the 'lock' icon and never save your credit card information
"Don't store it on your computer, don't store it on theirs," says McCarthy, "Why do the hackers target these places, the information that's available, so that's a big no,no. If they offer you that chance, always opt out of that."
Mobile devices are even more at risk because most lack virus protection and often use public wifi.
"Don't conduct any financial transactions on a mobile wifi because you're on an open source and everybody can come in and sniff and see what you're doing and capture that information. So it's risky," says McCarthy.
He says it's not just your money at risk, your identity and credit could also be compromised.
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