Tips to Shop Securely Online

Because we shop online for nearly everything for our businesses and personal lives, it’s essential to be vigilant about cyber-safety. Here are some tips to make sure you’re shopping securely.

  • Only shop on sites using HTTPS in the URL as opposed to HTTP. If a site is using HTTP, password and payment data can easily be stolen by anyone who has basic cyber-crime skills. HTTPS ensures that any transmitted data is encrypted and secure while being transmitted.

  • Pay attention to fraudulent websites clues:
    • No contact details on website.
    • Questionable site URL name. Some examples include slight tweaks to what you would expect to see like a number in place of a letter, a capital letter that should be lowercase, etc. Like this: Notice the mistake?
    • A Poorly designed website. A reputable brand will put effort into website design. Something that looks like this is probably not a safe choice:

    • Bad grammar and/or spelling. Content that reads like the author’s first language isn’t English is definitely a red flag.
  • Use your credit card instead of a debit card. You are less liable for fraudulent charges on a credit card than you are a debit card. You can report fraud here.
  • Use strong passwords! Sure it’s more convenient for you to use a password that is easy to remember. It’s more convenient for a hacker too. A good practice is to use upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters. The longer the password the better. There are many options for password vaults and here’s a random password generator to help you create secure credentials. Use this website to find out if your accounts have already been compromised.
  • If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. Look for these tell-tale signs:
    • If you’re even a little bit skeptical of a deal, visit the website of the brand to further investigate, or Google it. Better yet, don’t interact with the email.
    • You’re being asked to provide personal information.
    • You’re being asked to send a link or attachment to your contacts.
  • In the unfortunate event that you do fall victim to cybercrime, you can file a complaint for the FBI here. And report it here.


May 2021 Edition

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