If you have holiday shopping to do, you may be considering doing some of it online. Browsing the Internet and shopping online comes with some risks that you need to know how to navigate. A large percentage of viruses, Trojans, malware and adware are created by fraudsters trying to trick you into revealing your credit/debit card or banking information. They often rely on a computer user having unsafe browsing habits. Here are some security best practices to help you safely shop online:
- Only conduct business with reputable vendors.
- Use a credit card for transactions rather than a debit card, and check your statements for fraudulent transactions.
- Keep your software and your Web browser up to date.
- Use anti-virus software, and keep it updated.
- Don’t click on advertisements – they may have nasty backdoors, adware, trackers and cookies that will eventually cause problems on your computer.
- Be wary of emails that advertise sales or bargains – consider browsing to the main site without clicking a link in an email.
- While making purchases, make sure there is a padlock in the browser window or https://at the beginning of the Web address to signify that it is a secure site. If there isn’t, do not enter personal information.
- Avoid using applications for your phone or computer that offer to store sensitive information, even if they appear to be secure.
- Avoid shopping while using public or unsecured Wi-Fi networks.