PLEASANTON, Calif., Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Retail Federation estimates nearly half of all holiday shoppers will be logging on for Cyber Monday – that's some 121 million Americans. But for each transaction, security experts like Francis Dinha, Co-Founder of OpenVPN and Private Tunnel (http://privatetunnel.com) – a product that protects consumers online - say people need to make sure they have taken necessary precautions to protect their computers and mobile devices.
"So many people assume they're safe online, but the fact is, criminals prey on people using public, unsecured networks for their shopping," he said. "Just because your computer hasn't been hacked yet doesn't mean it won't be, as cyber criminals become more sophisticated everyday."
Even the United States Department of Justice says "Cybercrime is one of the greatest threats facing our country, and has enormous implications for our national security, economic prosperity, and public safety," right on its website.
So if the risks are so great, why do so many people still log on while at the mall, a coffee shop or hotel lobby?
"I think the only reason is they have a sense of safety when they're on their own laptops or cell phones," says Dinha. "They have the mindset of 'it can't happen to me'. But it does, and can ruin your life."
That's because when surfing online unprotected, your computer's information is available to any hacker. "Someone could be sitting in their car outside a coffee shop on the same wifi connection, and get your credit card information, saved passwords on your computer and all the info needed to steal your identity," says Dinha.
He recommends people update anti-virus and firewall software, and to consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
"Most of all, we don't want Cyber Monday to turn into Cyber 'Crime Day' for people trying get the most for their hard-earned cash. You wouldn't leave your debit card and pin number lying out for people to see. Why would you do that with everything on your computer?"
Private Tunnel® is a consumer Virtual Private Network product available worldwide that shields computers from hackers. Private Tunnel ® was created by OpenVPN, a privately-held company based in Pleasanton, Calif, and used nearly 1 million times a day.
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SOURCE OpenVPN Technologies Inc.