Online Security During the Shopping Season

The holiday shopping season is about to get into high gear. Black Friday is around the corner and Cyber Monday will soon follow.

Many retailers have already started sales and shoppers are getting their lists in order to get the best deals they can. We all need to be careful about getting scammed but more-so during this time of year as thieves are out in force not just in parking lots and retail stores, but online as well.

If you shop online a lot, you hopefully already practice safe habits with your online accounts and where you access the internet from. Keep your passwords strong so they aren’t easily guessed or cracked by a hacker. If you are using a dictionary word, or something short with only 1 number, your account may be compromised easily.

Another thing to keep in mind is where you are doing your online shopping. Are you at home? An internet cafe? The local McDonald’s or Starbucks using a public WiFi? Public WiFi’s are not safe to be making credit card transactions, entering your personal information and passwords and so on. Others connected to that network can easily sniff out the packets your device is sending and your information is no longer private. They can steal credit card numbers, passwords, and everything else while you are on that public network. To get around this, don’t use those public hot spots for something like shopping and instead stick to a trusted home or work network that is secure.

In addition to those tips, remember to use credit cards instead of debit cards while shopping online or in retail stores. You are afforded more protections with a credit card and if it were to be stolen, you don’t have someone draining your bank account!