Don’t fall victim to a scam this holiday season (or any other time of the year)! Protect yourself before shopping online by following these seven simple steps:
Keep your security up-to-date: Make sure your device’s operating system has all of its security updates installed, as well as updating any anti-virus system you have. This will help protect you from recent hacks and other threats.
Only shop on secure and trusted sites: Stick to secure websites, with URLs that start with “https.” Beware of fake versions of major retailer sites, especially if you’ve clicked through from an online ad or unsolicited e-mail with offers “too good to be true.”
Use secure networks: Shopping on public Wi-Fi, such as at a coffee shop or other popular gathering places, can be risky. Use your own Wi-Fi, or your wireless service, and you are less likely to expose your financial data to hackers.
Choose strong and unique passwords: When setting up an online shopping account, invent a unique password just for that site. Use a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols for your passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
Don’t save personal information: Don't allow auto-fill for your passwords or personal information, like your address, and never allow a site to store your credit card information. If the site gets hacked, or your device is stolen, it can put your information and money at risk.
Only use credit cards: When dealing with auction sites or private sellers, beware of being asked to switch to other payment methods such as sending cash, money transfers or money orders. Your credit card is probably insured against fraud, but cash and cash-equivalents are difficult to retrieve from scammers.
Check your statements: Finally, check your credit card statement regularly during the busy shopping season. If you see any suspicious charges, inform your credit card company immediately and keep track of which sites you have used the card on.
Shop smart. Shop CyberSafe!
Republished with the permission of CCIRC “GetCyberSafe.ca”