We are all recovering from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. While some of us may have resisted, many are still lured in by website ads, social media ads or the coupon that was sent to us via email. We all have been there! Online shopping is probably the most convenient and comes with great deals, but also comes at the threat of risking your identity.
This holiday season, here are tips to help protect yourself from identity theft when shopping online:
- Always shop on a secure network: Remember that you can risk your identity if you use a public WIFI to make transactions online, therefore it is best if you make purchases within the comfort of your home.
- Look for deals directly from a trusted retailer website, not search engines: If you heard about a great deal online from friends, family or colleagues, always remember to ask them which website they got it from. Don’t just rely on search engine results, because you can fall prey to an adware attack, henceforth compromising your identity.
- Shop at familiar online retailers: Try to only shop from retailers you are familiar with, and always look for the "padlock" icon in the browser's URL bar so that you know you are accessing a secure site.
- Keep your passwords unique and credit card information to yourself: Try to add a 2-step authentication process if you can. And if you find It difficult to remember passwords, you can download an app for your passwords. Also, try to enter in your credit card information every time to make a new purchase rather than have retail websites or apps you use remember them for you.
- Closely monitor your card statements: Keep a close eye on every transaction on your card, especially in the wake of some of the recent company data breaches. You want to be able to alert your credit card company/bank/credit union immediately of any fraudulent activity.
- Read Reviews about websites you are unsure of: You may think how is this related to protecting my identity? It is, because if you are planning to shop on a website not familiar to you where you found a good deal, make sure you read reviews about the website. If the website is scheming, someone may have been a victim and written a review about them.
Happy holidays folks and happy shopping!