Be Safe Online
In anticipation of the upcoming holiday shopping season, we want to help spread awareness of potential security concerns affecting people who either buy or sell products or services through digital means. There are many scams that fraudsters attempt when targeting victims online. Falling for a scam can be as simple as clicking on an email link or visiting an insecure website where attacks take place in the background, without your knowledge or consent.
Being a safe and secure shopper starts with STOP. THINK. CONNECT.: take security precautions, think about the consequences of your actions online and enjoy the conveniences of technology with peace of mind while you shop online.
ONLINE SHOPPING TIPS
§ CONDUCT RESEARCH: When using a new website for purchases read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the website.
§ WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT: Links in emails, posts, and texts are often the ways cyber criminals try to steal your information or infect your devices.
§ PERSONAL INFORMATION IS LIKE MONEY: VALUE IT AND PROTECT IT: When making a purchase online be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fall out required fields at checkout.
§ USE SAFE PAYMENT METHODS: Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn’t delivered or isn’t what’s ordered.
§ DON’T BE DISAPPOINTED: Read return and other policies so you know what to expect if the purchase doesn’t go as planned.
§ PROTECT YOUR $: When shopping check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for a web address with htps:// indicating extra measures to help secure your information and encrypt its transmission.
SHOPPING ON THE GO
· NOW YOU SEE ME, NOW YOU DON’T: Some stores and other locations look for devices with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth turned on to track your movements while you are within range. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use.
· GET SAVVY ABOUT WI-FI HOTSPOTS: Limit the type of business you conduct over open public Wi-Fi connections including logging on to key accounts such as email and banking.
BASIC SAFETY AND SECURITY TIPS
· KEEP A CLEAN MACHINE: All web connected devices including PCs, smartphones, and tablets free from malware and infections by running only the most current versions of software and apps.
· LOCK DOWN YOUR LOGIN: Fortify your online accounts by enabling the strongest authentication tools available, such as bio-metrics, security keys, or a unique one-time code through an app on your mobile device. Your usernames and passwords are not enough to protect key accounts like email, banking, and social media.
· MAKE BETTER PASSWORDS: If your passwords are weak improve them by adding capital letters, numbers, and symbols using different passwords for every account.