Hackers, crackers, and e-thieves. Steer clear of Internet risks that could ruin your holiday.
You’ve got to deck the halls, trim the tree, and attend the 15 festive events lined up this season on top of your daily duties of working, doing the chores, and, sleeping! During this hectic time of year, it’s no wonder that people turn to the internet to satisfy their holiday shopping list. Although online shopping does make our lives easier, it also comes with potential risks in terms of the security of our information. Here’s how to stay safe.
Ensure it is secure
Before you enter your personal or card details, check for the padlock symbol in the browser window frame. Be sure that the padlock is not on the page itself, this may indicate a fraudulent site. The web address should begin with the prefix ‘https://’ as the ‘s’ stands for secure.
Do your retail research
It’s best to shop from familiar brands, but if you would like to buy an item from a company you haven’t heard of, make sure you:
- Read reviews that other buyers have left.
- Ask friends and family if they have used the site before.
- Be wary of offers that seem too good to be true (as they probably are).
Update your password
Despite warnings from security experts, many adult internet users admit to using the same password. While it’s tempting to go for a couple of easy-to-remember ones, such as family member’s birthdays or your favorite sports teams, but having a weak password can be dangerous.
- Choose a password that is not traceable to you, for example, not your surname or birthday.
- Consider replacing letters with special characters and using capitals to make it even more difficult to hack.
- Choose a phrase, quote or line of poetry that you know well and select the first or last letter from each word to make a nonsense word.
Check your statements
Regularly checking your bank statements can help you to pick up on signs of fraud early, particularly as criminals often make a small withdrawal or purchase to test what they can get away with.