According to a recent article on Kiplinger.com:
“More consumers are expected to do their holiday shopping online this year – about 47% compared with 44% in 2010, according to a National Retail Federation survey. And about half of those surveyed who own smart phones and 70% who own tablets will use their devices to research items and make purchases.
The Internet makes it easy to compare prices, shop quickly and avoid the crowds. But it can also put you at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft if you don’t take the proper precautions.”
Security expert Jon Heimerl suggests that you follow these do’s and don’ts of online shopping to protect your personal information and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of a scam or identity theft:
- Go directly to a retailer’s site or use a price-comparison site, such as Amazon.com or PriceGrabber.com, instead of clicking links on a search results page. Even if you’re using a site that you think is legitimate, look for a security label, such as VeriSign or Cybertrust, and for https:// in the URL on pages that prompt you to enter personal information.
- Never make purchases online using a public Wi-Fi connection.
- Make sure you use a credit card when making purchases online and remember to check your monthly statements for charges that you didn’t make.
- If a Web site or individual offers a deal that’s too good to be true, demands a direct transfer of funds and won’t accept credit cards, it’s probably a scam.
- Wire money to pay for an item. If you purchase an item from an online auction site, such as eBay, and the seller asks you to wire your payment, don’t do it.
- Trust every deal you see on social-networking sites. One option is to use a deal notification you see on Twitter as a tip, then research the details on your own.
Finally, before you log into the internet for the deals… check out your local shops and businesses. They probably have some fantastic deals and you know who you’re dealing with.
Tags: #smallbizsat, Electronic commerce, identity theft, Jon Heimerl, National Retail Federation, Online shopping, Personal identification, shop local, Theft
Every day there is a new story out there about new and unique ways criminals are gaining access to your personal information and then using that for their own purposes. Identity theft is an issue that continues to plague consumers, businesses, and law enforcement. To provide greater insight into the prevalence and cost of ID theft, in 2006 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sponsored its second ID theft survey of US adults.
There are things you can do, however, to raise your level of security and protect your personal and professional information.
- Don’t throw away anything that contains personal information unless it has been shredded or ripped up to make the document illegible.
- If someone asks you to give away personal information over the phone, check their details and get a phone number to call the organization back to check they are legitimate.
- Be careful when using social networking sites, as these can be an easy route to snatching your data.
- Always go directly to web sites asking for personal information rather than clicking on links in an email or web site page.
- Only conduct an internet transaction if you are sure the web site is valid and secure.
- Remember to set strong passwords.
- Monitor your credit card and/or bank statements and look for suspicious transactions.
These are just a few simple steps that you can take to keep your personal information to yourself. The best advice we can offer, besides the tips above, is to trust your gut. If something seems too good to be true, or there’s something not quite right about that link you just clicked on, stop what you’re doing. Follow your instincts.
Do you have any tips or tricks that you use to protect yourself, your family and your business from opportunistic predators? We would love to hear what you’re doing to stay safe online.
Tags: Crimes, Identity, identity theft, information security, Personal identification, Theft