Tips For Keeping Your Personal Information Safe Online
Online shopping is more popular than ever with almost 12% of all retail being conducted online. The convenience and unlimited variety when shopping online is unmatched; however, online shopping can put you at an increased risk for identity theft and cyber fraud. Here at Bearingstar, your safety is our number one priority — and that includes your digital identity. To help keep you safe and secure, we’ve put together the following tips and insights.
Avoid Shopping On Public Wifi
One of the major conveniences of online shopping is that it can be done nearly anywhere. But it’s important to avoid the temptation to shop when you’re using public wifi. Cyber criminals have been known to set up fake hotspots and free public wifi networks as a way to gain login and password information from unsuspecting users.
If you need to shop on the go, consider using your own smartphone as a mobile hotspot in order to avoid the potential risks of a public network.
Keep Your Devices Updated + Secure
Be sure your computer and phone are always up-to-date with the latest operating systems. Software updates contain important patches to fix security issues. Cyber attackers can easily access outdated devices because they don’t have the most current security software. In addition, be sure to enable built-in security measures on your machines and consider installing antivirus and encryption solutions.
Keep Track Of Your Devices
Always make sure to keep track of all your devices that may have personal information on them, like your laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Consider installing a tracking service on your device, so that you can track them down in the event they get lost. If you are unable to recover a lost device, make sure to contact your bank to alert them, so they can monitor any potentially fraudulent activities.
Avoid Phishing Scams
If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be wary of emails from retailers promoting specials or deals, especially if you’re not familiar with the business. Clicking links in these emails can result in releasing your personal information or even installing malware on your computer.
Regularly Check Your Bank Statements
Take the time to regularly go over your billing statements to make sure that you have made all of the purchases listed. It’s also a good idea to keep purchases to credit cards, as opposed to debit cards, as most credit card companies offer certain fraud protections for their clients.
Be Vigilant About Secure Websites And Payment Methods
A common ploy for cyber criminals is setting up fake websites that look similar to reliable online retailers. Check the web address before putting any personal information in — it should have an “https” address and you should see the green padlock indicating that it is a secure website. Make sure the website url is spelled correctly. Avoid auto saving your credit card information on all websites. The extra minute it takes to re-enter this information could save you from a great deal of trouble.
Have more questions about cyber security? A Bearingstar agent is here to help. Visit our website to connect with a local agent near you: http://bit.ly/2GvLIQX