Below are 8 great tips for staying safe and secure when shopping online. My friends at Dell sent this over and with Cyber Monday and all the holiday shopping coming up, this is a great time to make sure you're ready.
- Make sure your computer is up-to-date with anti-virus and malware detection software
- When buying online, always use a credit card that limits your fraud liability. Avoid using debit cards to prevent fraudulent transactions
- Always type the URL of your favourite shopping websites. Don’t use links provided in online ads and emails as they may direct you to bogus websites set by cyber criminals to extract personal information
- Be wary of holiday gift cards and coupon offers sent via email. They are often a trap for information-stealing Trojans or provide a backdoor for hackers to collect your personal information
- When making online purchases always look for the HTTPS on your browser’s URL window. The S (as opposed to just HTTP) indicates the website has another layer of security
- Never open unsolicited emails with links to attachments even from people you know. ALWAYS verify with the sender that he or she actually sent you the email with the link
- Never open or respond to emails from your bank (or any financial institution) that ask you to verify or update your banking certificate, password or token. Banks rarely ask customers to update/disclose sensitive information via email. Always check with your bank before taking action
- Avoid using weak or default password for any online sites
It's a good list from the Dell IT security experts. I especially like #3. As a general rule, if you're planning on buying something from a site never, ever click over from a link on a web page or in an email. Always go straight there in your browser or use your own bookmark. The same rule applies to your bank and any other site that might require you enter banking / credit card info.
Are you reading, mom?