Online shopping has become an essential part of everyone’s life, especially during the holidays. However, it can be concerning when major data breaches are routinely in the news. Here are some tips to keep your personal information secure.

 

Use Strong Passwords

When deciding on a password, skip the most commonly used passwords, such as your name, the word password or others that are easily guessed. Make sure all passwords contain a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols. Passwords should be changed periodically and each site should have its own password. Keeping track of your passwords can be made simple with the use of a password manager.

 

Don’t Overshare

While we all enjoy sharing some details of our life online, sharing too many personal details online can put your personal information at risk. For example, if you include your email address in your profile, and post your child’s full name online, then use it as a bank password, hackers can easily guess your login.

 

Check your privacy settings on your profiles and be aware of who can view your posts. Then be cautious of what you post.

 

Free Wi-Fi Accounts Are Not Secure

Most free public Wi-fi networks are open to everyone, most not even requiring a password. If you want to do a little online shopping, public networks are not the best choice.  Would-be hackers can monitor activity on these networks and skim passwords. Instead, wait until you are on a secured, trusted network.

 

Use Caution When Clicking on Links or Attachments

Did you receive an email about an expensive computer purchase on Amazon? Or maybe it was through Paypal? Look a little closer. Does the wording seem a bit unusual? Are there typos?  If so, it is probably a phishing scam trying to get you to click the link or attachment. Then, when you do, there is a login that looks official. 

 

Don’t fall for these scams. If you are concerned about your Amazon account, for example, go to Amazon’s website on your own, not through a link. Log in and check your order status. If you are still concerned, contact customer service directly.

 

Protect Yourself

Make sure your devices are protected with antivirus and antispyware software, as well as a firewall. You can also purchase cyber insurance protection to keep you and your family safe.