The holiday season is quickly approaching and many of us will shop online for at least some of our holiday purchases. Being smart about when and where you shop online can help keep you from falling victim to cybercrime.
Only shop online when you know you have a secure internet connection. Shopping with an unsecure connection may make you an easy target for cyber thieves who can steal your credit card information.
Remember public internet connections are not always secure, even if you are on your own device, and the public network’s security software may not always be up-to-date.
When buying online, look for a padlock symbol on the page and shop from sites that start with https:// web address.
The “s” after “http” shows that the website encrypts your information as it processes the transaction. Use credit cards instead of debit cards to make online purchases. The Fair Credit Billing Act limits your responsibility to the first $50 in charges if your credit card is used fraudulently, and many credit card companies will not hold you responsible for any fraudulent online charges. Review your statements and report any suspicious transactions to your credit card company. You may also request a free credit report from the three credit reporting agencies Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.
Create strong passwords and PIN numbers. Use different combinations of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols to make your passwords hard to crack.
Do not use personally identifiable passwords such as your address, birthday or name in your passwords, as these are easy for thieves to figure out.
Keep your passwords private. 1Do not share them with others or keep them in your wallet or purse as these can be stolen. Try to use different passwords for each of your online accounts.
Automatically set updates on your device, apps, browsers and computer operating systems to keep them current with the latest security features.
Password protect your home internet connection to keep your personal network secure.
For more ways to protect your financial well-being, contact the Trimble County Extension Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-255-7188.