The Internet has truly transformed shopping as we know it. Online shopping has made visiting your favorite stores even easier. It is extremely convenient and cost effective because you can compare prices among several stores.
But like many great things in life, online shopping does have setbacks. As easy as it is to shop, it is just as easy to have your personal information stolen online. Online shopping is a thief’s playground due to the abundance of personal financial information that is required to complete a purchase. Protect your identity when you’re shopping online by adhering to the following rules and tips.
Only Shop Where You Know
Unfamiliar, unpopular sites are usually not the safest. Try to only shop at trusted websites that you know or have heard of such as Target.com or Amazon.com. Also, beware of misspellings or URL’s using “.net” instead of “.com”. This is one of the most common ways that thieves and scammers trick shoppers. Remember: You wouldn’t hand someone you didn’t trust or know your credit card so don’t do that online either.
Make Sure You See the Lock
A small tip that some shoppers may not know about is the way to spot a secure ecommerce website in seconds. Secure websites start with “https://” instead of “http://.” There should also be a small lock icon in the lower right corner of the website.
Don’t Give Personal Financial Info through Email
Never give anyone your credit card information or any other personal final information through email. Use secure programs such as PayPal to make purchases or payments.
Watch Out For Too Many Personal Questions
Although there are numerous questions that must be answered in order to verify your identity online, there are certain questions that point to a scam. Never share too much. If a store asks for your social security number or birthday, do not give them your financial information. Always give the least amount of personal information possible.
Check Billing Statements
Get into the habit of checking your bank accounts frequently. If you see any bank activity that you do not recognize, address the matter immediately. Don’t pay credit card bills until you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems so be sure to contact your bank immediately.
Passwords Are There For a Reason
The process of needing passwords to log into your online accounts was put in place to help you stay secure. While is it common that people use passwords that can be remembered easily, be sure that thieves cannot figure them out easily as you can. If your password has any of the following you should change them immediately to make yourself thief-proof.
- It uses numbers or letters in the order they appear on the keyboard (“1234″ or “qwerty”)
- It’s the name of your kids, pet, favorite team, or city of birth
- It’s your birthday, anniversary, date of graduation, or car license plate number
- It’s “letmein,” or, especially, “password.”
Enroll in an Identity Theft Protection Service
With today’s technological advances there are several services that you can enroll in to actively monitor your personal information. Having a company guard your personal information is a great second line of defense against identity theft. These companies will immediately alert you if anything seems out of the ordinary.
Having your identity stolen is costly and frustrating, but it can be prevented. Prepare for the worst to ensure your information remains safe.
These tips are from Protection 1®. Protection 1® is the 2nd largest U.S. security company with leading security companies in business & home security systems. Visit Protection 1® for security solutions and security tips today.