So it’s that time of year again. Trying to find that perfect gift for the kids or the spouse. A lot of us will turn to the internet for cover as opposed to dealing with large holiday crowds in the retail stores. While convenient, it does have it’s own danger as hackers each year go to new levels to try to steal your sensitive information. Here are some tips to keep safe during this online shopping season.
- Use sites that you are familiar with. Almost all major retailers have online stores. Stick with sites of trusted companies like Amazon, Best Buy, etc. They all have the security necessary to combat hacking. Also, try to look out for sites with misspellings in the URL as well as sites that are .net as opposed to .com.
- Look for the secure certificate. Look for the URL to being with https: and the padlock symbol in front of it. This means the site has SSL protection which will encrypt your information.
- Minimize the information given. Retailers do not need your social security number or date of birth to make purchases. Any site asking for this information could be a scam to open accounts in your name.
- Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware. Most software will protect you from malware and has anti-phishing capability. This will only further protect you from info stealing.
- Check your bank account frequently. Do not wait for the bill to come at the end of the month. Make sure you stay vigilant in making sure you have no fraudulent charges on your accounts. Most financial institutions require you to notify them within 30 days of a fraudulent charge. After that, you may be held liable for the purchases.
We all like the convenience of online shopping but in order to keep it a convenience and not have it turn into an inconvenience, follow these safety tips to keep your accounts protected.