The holiday season is here, and if you haven’t already started shopping, it’s high time to get going. One way to get your shopping done without getting stressed out is to do it online. You don’t have to physically go anywhere, and you get your purchases delivered right to your door. But online shopping also gives hackers the opportunity to steal your valuable information. Secure yourself online with these six tips for the holiday season.
- Find the retailers contact information- every legitimate retailer should have their phone number, address and email address on the website. If that information isn’t readily available, it’s time to find somewhere else to shop.
- Ensure the site is secure- before you enter any payment information, look at the address bar. If the site is secure, the address will start with “https.” There should also be a padlock or key icon at the bottom of the page in either corner.
- Update your own security- before you log on, update your computer’s firewall and anti-virus security software.
- Use built in security- VISA offers Verified by VISA, while MasterCard has SecureCode. These are an extra layer of security you can sign up for. When you checkout online at participating retailers, you have to go through additional security before the purchase is approved.
- Don’t use public wi-fi- public wi-fi is easy for hackers to access and doesn’t provide much in the way of security. Home wi-fi systems with secure passwords are better.
- Use strong passwords- strong passwords consist of at least eight characters including upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.