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Tis the Season to be...Careful: Online Shopping Safety

The clock is ticking. It’s mid-December and you still don’t have all the gifts you need. Malls are crowded and neighborhood stores are overwhelmed. Online shopping is a good bet for finding last minute gifts that will arrive on time. This is the time of year where fake businesses pop up and try to steal credit card and personal information from online shoppers.

Don’t let the urgency of the need surpass the requirement of security.

  • Public WiFi + VPN. Public Wi-Fi networks utilize unsecured public airwaves and are prime targets for hackers looking to obtain your credit card and personal information. If you’re using public WiFi to shop, it’s essential that you employ VPN. It’s an added layer of protection that extends from your home WiFi to your portable devices. It’s easy, inexpensive and effective.

  • Change your password to a pass-phrase. Replacing passwords with “pass-phrases” is a great way to reduce the chance of getting hacked because of a weak password. Your passphrase should include at least 19 characters that make up five words mixed with numbers and special characters and be something personal and easy to remember. You pass phrase should never include famous or well-known song lyric. Avoid movie & book titles and anything easily found online via search, especially quotes.

  • Check out the webpage security. Shop sites that that begin with https://. This indicates the page has privacy protection installed. These websites mask and transfer data you share, typically on pages that ask for passwords or financial info.

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