|With the holidays well underway and Christmas just around the corner many people resort to getting their shopping done online. Getting your shopping done over the internet is often times much more convenient and can be done in the confines of your home. Although it can be easier to make purchases from your couch – avoiding lines at the mall is always great – you must be aware of the threats you’re being exposed to when shopping online.|
Below you will find several suggestions that will help keep you protected when shopping online:
- Make sure that your computer’s software is up-to-date with sufficient anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall protection.
- Do not do any online shopping on an unencrypted or open wireless network – cyber attackers can access your financial information easier when they are within the same network host as you.
- Be especially wary of unsolicited emails, particularly ones that request sensitive information such as credit/debit card numbers or important login information.
- Always make sure the website is secured; these will have an HTTPS in the search bar instead of only HTTP (S=secured) and are usually accompanied by a small padlock image.
- It is smarter to use your credit card – with responsible credit card habits – rather than a debit card when making an online purchase. Credit cards have more protection from fraudulent access and you will often be notified sooner when something is out of the ordinary.
- Don’t allow websites to keep your financial information stored, such as remembering a card number or password no matter how big the company you are buying from is.
Finally, although it can be tedious, it is important that you pay attention to the privacy policies in the fine print – ensuring that you and your financial information will remain protected after a transaction is complete.