This holiday season, many retailers are offering online discounts. Many of us will take advantage of the sales and convenience of shopping online this holiday season. I know I will avoid crowded stores and long lines. Below are a few tips for protecting your identity while shopping online. Please feel free to add additional tips.
· Don’t open e-mail from anyone you don’t know. Delete information regarding accounts you didn’t open. They are fake phishing e-mails!
· Don’t click on links in e-mails. Instead of clicking on a link, open your browser and type in the URL for the online store or site where you wish to shop
· Use secure passwords when opening an online shopping account:
o Don’t use words found in the dictionary
o Don’t use family member or pet names, birthdays, social security numbers or other common identifiable information in your password
o Make sure passwords are at least 8 characters and are a combination of lower case and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters such as $#@! Etc.
o Read return policies before your purchase
o Read privacy policies before you open an account
o Use a credit card and not a debit card to purchase items
o Don’t use library or public computers to make online purchases
o Don’t allow an automatic or a remembered log-on at shopping sites
o Look for the lock icon displayed in your browser
General Security Tips
· Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date
· Download any new anti-virus signature files before shopping online
· Complete a virus scan of you system before shopping online