Secure Your Online Shopping
Let’s face it, the days of traversing from store to store in search of the best deals has become a thing of the past. This is the age of the Internet, the digital age, and along with that has come the modern-day deal shopper favorite, internet shopping. As the digital frontier has developed and grown to become part of our every day lives, the threat of identity theft and digital fraud have become commonplace in many of our lives. However, using the Internet to shop is not a direct path to identity theft. There are several things that you can do (or rather keep in mind) to be able to reap the full benefits of online shopping while also keeping your personal information secure. Here are some suggestions to help ensure that you are safe while shopping online.
- Don’t login to your accounts on public devices, or from public wi-fi.
- If something seems too good to be true, it probably is, avoid it.
- Ensure that any place you put in your personal information, is a genuine website. A common scam by cyber-criminals is to make ‘mock’ web pages, that look and interact identically to websites from eBay, Amazon, etc. They can be very convincing. The most reliable way to verify if it is the website you believe it to be, is by looking at the website address. You should see the main website as part of the website address.
For Example – Amazon:
The Real Amazon URL Example : https://www.amazon.com/gp/huc/view.html?ie=UTF8&newItems=Cc88ebd8b-dbc3-4644-8e10-2ac512b33c69%2C1
Fake Amazon URL Examples (DO NOT CLICK):
Each of the fake addresses above are from reported websites that were attempting to steal customer information. As you can see, the base web page is not ‘www.amazon.com’ for any of them, rather it is the word amazon but with other characters or words alongside it.
- SSL Secure Pages
If you pay attention to the website names that you visit day-to-day, you have probably noticed that some are http://, and some are https://. HTTP is the base layer for data communication on the Internet, but it has expanded to encompass a second, secure variation that is the https://. If the page is using this acronym, it is much more secure than the latter.
- Password Management
Using lengthy, diverse passwords is a great way to boast higher security for your personal accounts. But it can be very difficult to keep track of the passwords, especially if you use different passwords for each site (which you should). Now there is an easier way to keep track of all your passwords, while only needing to remember a single master code. Password managers, such as LastPass, and others, will encrypt your account passwords and store the password for future use. As long as you have the master code for your password manager, anytime you need to input a password for an account, it will automatically do it for you. It has a cloud backup system, that prevents you from ever losing a password also.
By: Steven Schorn