With online shopping becoming more and more prevalent, you can easily click and have things delivered on your doorstep a few days later. While online shopping is certainly convenient, it also has its fair share of risk.
If you’ve ever clicked “purchase” on your phone, tablet or computer, you’ve had to use your personal information in order to receive your items. Any time you enter in personal information, you’re putting yourself at risk. We’d like to help you stay safe while shopping online, so that you can enjoy the perks of online shopping and avoid the inconvenience of having your information compromised. Here are eight great tips to help you stay safe.
- Use trusted sites. Beware of misspelled site names or sites ending in .net. These sites may be offering huge discounts, but that’s how they trick customers into entering in personal information. If the site you’re visiting is not familiar to you, do a little bit of research first to make sure it’s a secure site before you purchase anything.
- Look for the lock! Never purchase anything from a site that does not have SSL (secure sockets layer). You will know the site has SSL encryption because the URL will starts with HTTPS:// instead of just HTTP://. You will see a small padlock icon that also signifies your transaction will be made safely.
- Never give out credit card information over email. Use PayPal, Venmo or TDECU’s PopMoney feature to send funds. If you give out credit card information over email, it may end up in the wrong hands.
- Check it twice! Check your credit card and bank statements regularly and check for fraudulent charges. If you do see something unusual, call your bank or credit card company immediately to handle the fraudulent charges. You can even set up automatic alerts…learn how by visiting TDECU.org/fraud.
- Protect your devices. If you have a personal computer, consider purchasing some anti-virus software, which can help against identity theft and malware.
- Your eyes only! Avoid using public computers for any kind of purchases, and keep your monitor facing away from others if you’re working from a public place and entering in sensitive information. If it’s a shared computer, avoid shopping at all costs. If you’re on a public internet connection, it’s best to wait until you’re home so that people can’t compromise your information. Make sure your home internet network is password protected to avoid others connecting and potentially accessing your information.
- Stay alert. McAfee offers a current list of online scams, so it’s best to review this list every so often to further avoid fraud.
- Be unique! Make certain that your passwords are not all the same, and make sure they aren’t words or phrases someone could easily try. A strong password is usually at least 12 characters and contains letters, numbers and special characters.