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NJOHSP, NJCCIC Offer Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping Season

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP) and its cyber division, the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC), want to remind all New Jersey residents, visitors, organizations, and businesses of resources regarding safe shopping practices during the holiday season.

“Given the current conditions due to the pandemic, the public should continue to follow proper health guidance if shopping in person,” said Jared M. Maples, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. “Furthermore, we urge residents who shop online to be particularly mindful of an uptick in cyber threats this year because of an increased dependence on technology. Whether purchasing gifts at physical stores or through online retailers, if you ‘See Something, Say Something’ by reporting suspicious activity to NJOHSP and the NJCCIC.”

Reporting suspicious behavior to local law enforcement and NJOHSP’s Counterterrorism Watch could help prevent a potential terrorist attack. To learn more about indicators of terrorism or terrorism-related crimes, please visit njohsp.gov/njsars. To report suspicious activity, please call 1-866-4-SAFE-NJ (1-866-472-3365) or email tips@njohsp.gov.

“It is anticipated that more online shopping will occur this holiday season, which makes cybersecurity a top priority to help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a cyber incident,” said Michael T. Geraghty, director of the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell. “The public can access practical cybersecurity resources on NJCCIC’s website, including articles and instructional guides, which detail simple recommendations and best practices that can be implemented to reduce cyber risk while shopping online.”

Online shopping has been on the rise for several years, but it has significantly spiked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, cyber criminals are targeting a number of potential unsuspecting victims, customers and vendors alike. Scammers may use a variety of methods, including emails, compromised websites, spoofed websites, phone calls, text messages, or unsecured Wi-Fi networks, to prey on targets. To combat this threat, please review the NJCCIC’s list of common scams, tips, and best practices at https://www.cyber.nj.gov/inform ational-report/stay-cyber-safe-this-holiday-season. If you experience a cyber-related incident, report it to the NJCCIC via the Cyber Incident Report form at cyber.nj.gov/report.

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