Coming into this Holiday Season in an attempt to avoid the stress of wintery roads, crowded parking lots, and navigating our fellow shoppers I’m sure that many of you will be scouring online retailers for the perfect gifts; (the ones that can be bought from the comfort of your home) … I know I will.
Although online retailers provide the ultimate convenience especially at this time of year, they also can leave you vulnerable to scam’s and potential identity theft if proper precautions aren’t taken or kept up to date.
We wanted to provide you with a few steps that you can take if you haven’t already, that can go a long way to ensure that your information is secure and protected.
Be Wary of Public Wi-Fi
- Do not enter password or personal information from a public, unsecured network as this is easy prey for hackers. Some of these places include college and universities, cafe’s, hotels, etc.
- Ensure that any mobile device that you have is set to Wi-Fi when leaving a private network since your device will most likely automatically seek out and connect to available unsecured networks.
Create Secure Passwords
- Longer passwords tend to be more secure than complex passwords.
- Unique phrases are longer and conveniently easier to remember than random complicated characters.
- Be careful not to use information publicly available online such as pet, children, or street names.
Be Alert When Shopping Online
- Be skeptical of outrageous deals. Illegitimate websites will always offer the best price for a product or service because they will never make good on it.
- Read reviews on retailers from sources outside of their sites.
- When shopping on an online retailer’s website ensure that there is an S after the HTTP in the address bar which will indicate that the website is secure.
Stay up to Date
- Be sure to accept updates to operating systems, apps, software, and antivirus to avoid becoming vulnerable to hackers.
- Developers constantly seek vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of and provide these updates as a means for increased defense.