Deep Bench: Are you doing it all wrong when trying to avoid cyber criminals?

The Better Business Bureau says it's important to keep an eye out for scams, especially on one of the biggest online shopping days like Cyber Monday (SOURCE: KOLN).

(WZAW) -- As you do your holiday shopping online on Cyber Monday, it’s important to make sure you’re keeping your personal and financial information protected from cyber criminals.

In fact, 2019 is on track to finish as the worst year for data breaches, putting consumers and businesses at risk.

Come next year, hackers could use drones, your cell phone and even who you plan to vote for in the 2020 presidential election to steal your financial information.

On Monday, the vice president of the Experian Data Breach Resolution Group and Consumer Protection at Experian, Michael Bruemmer, joined the Deep Bench to discuss the biggest threats and what consumers are doing wrong.

He said we should be worried about drones and our personal data.

“The drone technology has been around for a while, but there’s a million-plus certified drones in the states, and you combine the drones with a public WiFi that can be spoofed, and there are 50 million public WiFi spots worldwide and then add in the hack five pineapple, which is a cigarette-sized internet surveillance device. You combine all three of those, and you can have somebody that’s out thinking that they’re connecting to a legitimate public WiFi for free, and any of the information that’s transacted off of the network or over the network can be copied or stole, whether it’s payment information, your social security number.”

He said the 2020 presidential election also puts us at risk for identity theft.

“If you signed up a while back to make a small contribution to your presidential candidate of choice or any elected official and you get text message from that campaign with a link that says, ‘Hey, please go ahead and connect to this to donate $10, many times your cellular number has been compromised, and you really don’t know where that message is coming from. You just recognize it and assume [you’re] part of this tribe for X candidate, you click on the link unsuspectedly and your payment information may be compromised, because you’re either downloading malware,” Bruemmer explained.

The best thing he advised is to not respond to the text and contact the campaign directly.

Mobile payment devices are also something to watch out for that can be compromised. He recommends using the Zelle or Venmo apps that are very reputable.

For more information, visit www.experian.com/databreach. It will have the 2020 predictions for the most dangerous cyber threats to look out for and consumer tips.