Take steps to secure personal and financial transactions online
For online purchases during the holidays, be cautious about the companies you do business with and take steps to secure your transactions:
- Immediately install updates to operating system, anti-virus/anti-malware and computer software as they become available. This will ensure that you have the latest patches needed to address security vulnerabilities and fix bugs.
- Be careful about what you click on. Links to shopping websites included in emails, ads, texts and social media may contain malware.
- Research the companies you are doing business with by checking the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) website as well as online reviews.
- If you maintain an online account with a retail store, establish unique passwords and consider employing additional security measures such as two-factor authentication where possible. Only provide the information required to set up the account and no more.
- Before entering any personal or financial information, check that the company’s website address begins with “https” and shows a padlock icon. This ensures your connection with the site is encrypted and secure. If your browser displays a green lock bar with the company name, this indicates that the authenticity and ownership of the website has been verified.
- To be safe, do not enter into financial transactions using public Wi-Fi. If you must do so, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Use a credit card instead of debit card for online purchases. There are more protections for credit card transactions. You will be in a better position if you can identify and dispute fraud before funds are deducted from your bank account.
- Review your credit card transactions on a regular basis.
For more information about online shopping safety, visit https://staysafeonline.org