It’s December already, which means that the holidays are just around the corner. There’s no better time than the present to brush up on how you can keep your privacy and identity secure during the most wonderful time of the year.
1. Trust Before you Buy
Are you familiar with the ecommerce site or the retail provider? You need to trust where you input your contact information and shipping address before you give it over. Especially during this time of year, hackers are out in full force creating fraudulent websites meant to steal your personal information, your money and your identity. A good indicator to determine if you can trust a website is to look at the right hand corner of the URL address bar for a padlock symbol which authenticates the website as secure and reliable. When in doubt, Google it. Check online to see if this is a reliable retail site and whether or not you can trust them.
2. Be Careful with your Email and Social Media
Be cautious with deals promoted on social media and through emails from unknown senders. They might seem like incredible holiday deals, but they could be phishing attempts designed to be too good to be true, and to trick you into giving up your information. Specifically watch out for shortened links which might be utilized to reroute you to seemingly legitimate websites that are actually fraudulent.
3. Avoid Wifi Hotspots
Try your best to avoid inputting personal details and credit card information on a public wifi network. It’s imperative to use a secure network while shopping online, and it’s advisable to wait until you get home before you make your purchase. If you need to, use a VPN while online so you can ensure your identity and information is safe.
4. Monitor your Bank Transactions
Make sure to monitor your bank statements and look out for small payments, and overpayments which could both indicate that your card might have been compromised Call your credit card company immediately if you notice any suspicious payments.
5. Protect and Prevent
To ensure the safety of your online holiday purchases, you must first ensure the safety of your PC. Protect yourself from malware and viruses and ensure you have sufficient anti-phishing protection in order for you to be completely safe while shopping online. Equip your PC with a robust antivirus and firewall software to protect you against identity fraud and all the latest threats.
There are some great holiday steals out there, so be sure to follow these tips so you don’t become one of them! We hope you shop safely this holiday season and have a happy holiday!