With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, here are some reminders of how to stay safe while shopping online.
- Before you start shopping, update your software (including your phone). These updates will improve your security. By the way, you should always be doing this on a regular basis (preferably automated). Not just during the holiday season.
- If possible, do not use a debit card. Use a credit card or a payment system like PayPal.
- Shop on secure, known, legitimate websites. New pop-up sites may offer great deals, but if it’s too good to be true…well, it’s too good to be true. Pass up that “deal”.
- Stay alert for phishing, smishing and vishing scams. Do not click on links or open attachments from someone you do not know or were not expecting.
- Use long passwords (passphrases) when you have to create an account…and DO NOT USE THE SAME PASSWORD more than once. When possible, also employ multi-factor authentication.
- If you must go online from a public location, be sure to be logged out of any banking or payment accounts before connecting and do not access these sites while on a public WiFi. If possible, set up a personal hotspot with your phone.