With the increase of online shopping this holiday season, here are 5 tips to help safeguard your identity from thieves who are setting up shop as well:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While consumers are expecting great deals from their favorite retailers, no one will be selling you a flat screen TV for $20. Nor will you win an iPad from clicking a link.
- Use one credit card for online shopping. This lowers your risk. Better to deal with one company regarding fraud than multiple companies. Better yet, consider using PayPal or another similar service where your personal information is not shared at all.
- Avoid shopping from wireless connections in public spaces. Public wireless networks are easy targets for hackers. Use an encrypted network, or better yet, use a hard-wired connection.
- If you use 3rd party browser enhancers like Java or Flash, be sure the software is up to date. There are known viruses in the older versions making them security risks. Be sure you are getting your updates directly from the vendor’s website.
- Never click on a link in an advertisement email. If it looks legitimate, retype it in the window of your browser. A hacker can use “www.besybuy.com” in the email but make the link take you somewhere else that you do not want to be. At the minimum hover over the link to see the actual web address before using.
Be diligent in protecting your identity whenever you use a credit or debit card. Check your credit reports routinely. Should you become a victim of identity theft and/or fraud, we can help you through the disputing process.