Safe Shopping Online

 

Yes, Cyber Monday has come and gone, but the crooks are still prowling the Internet. It appears that more people than ever will be doing some of their holiday shopping online this year. You can be sure the crooks know this and will be trying to scam you, get your personally identifiable information (PII) or gain access to your accounts. Here are some tips to help protect you.

  • Make sure your operating system, antivirus software and firewall software are up to date.

  • Make sure you are using a secure browser. In my experience, Firefox and Google Chrome are more secure than Internet Explorer. Make sure your browser is up to date with the latest patches and security fixes.

  • Use Web of Trust (WOT) to make sure the sites you are using have a good reputation and are free of malware.

  • Only use sites that are secure. Secure sites will have “https” in the address bar. Insecure sites will have just “http.” You will also see a yellow padlock to the right of the Web browser field.

  • Carefully type in the correct address (URL) for all sites. Hackers often buy misspelled domains (Internet site names) to trick people into using them and entering information.

  • Use a different password for each online retailer. If a hacker gets one password, he will have access to your other accounts if they are all the same.

  • Read site reviews before making any purchases. ResellerRatings.com, Pricegrabber.com, DealNews.com, BizRate.com and SiteJabber.com are some sites that you may find helpful before making a purchase decision.

  • Know the return policy of sites before shopping.

  • Be aware of phishing email scams. Many of them offer deals that are just too good to be true. Don’t ever click on a link in a suspicious email. You may be opening up your computer to a stranger that may take over your computer or install spyware on your computer.

  • Use credit cards with low limits to minimize the damage just in case a thief somehow gets access to your account. Do not use debit cards.

 

Stay safe my friends,

 

 

John L. Jones.

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