As you shop online this holiday season and in the future, consider these tips to help you keep your personal information secure:
Make sure the site is secure.
Before you make purchases online, look for signs that the site is secure before you enter your payment information. Examples of a secure site include a closed padlock near the browser’s address bar or a website address beginning with “https.”
Beware of SPAM emails.
Be on the lookout for emails from senders requesting personal information like login credentials or credit card information. If you receive a link to a website through an email, hover over the link to verify it actually takes you to a legitimate website before clicking on it. Or, instead of using links sent to you in an email, search for the retailer’s website yourself in your internet browser.
Check the website’s privacy settings.
Be cautious about the information you share.
Online retailers only need certain information to complete a transaction. Information such as your card number and shipping address are usually required, but you should not be asked to give your social security number or your bank account number in the checkout process.
Create unique passwords.
Create unique passwords for each online account and use different passwords for each account. If your password is something obvious or easy to guess, criminals have a better chance of hacking into your accounts and accessing the payment information you’ve used to purchase items from the site.
Don’t save your payment or login information.
Although it may be convenient to allow your internet browser or a specific website to remember your payment information, this is not a safe practice. If you store information such as your credit card number, security code or expiration date on your phone or computer and your device is stolen, hackers will have access to your information.
Don’t shop on public Wi-Fi.
If you’re shopping online, you’re likely entering important personal information. If you are using public Wi-Fi while shopping, anyone on the network can access information you submit while using the public Wi-Fi. Make sure you’re connected to a secure network when shopping online.