With more shoppers than ever hitting the websites instead of the malls, many are wondering how safe online financial transactions really are.
Cyber security may seem like a complex subject, but with a little foresight, customers can enjoy all of the great online deals with confidence these holidays.
The first step to cyber security is also the easiest: only use a trusted personal computer. It may seem like a good idea to get in a few gifts at work or on a public computer, but these can be stalking grounds for criminals. Using a password protected home computer with a password protected Wifi connection will instantly stop a majority of crimes.
The next step is to be aware of are the online stores themselves. It is generally a good idea to steer clear of any offers that are sent directly to one’s emails unless they personally requested them. Another good habit to form is double checking the URL of a website. Any addresses that begin with https sends and receives only secured packets of information.
If the address appears to be odd for any reason, such as the company name being misspelled, it could be a false storefront used to phish for customers’ personal and banking information.
For lesser known stores or companies, it is always best to check with institutions such as the Better Business Bureau before giving away any personal information.
The easiest prey for online cyber criminals are the customers that use simplistic or easy to guess passwords and usernames. A recent leak of thousands of Yahoo email accounts show that as many as 40% of people stick to 12345 or similar sequences as their password. Using a mixture of at least 9 numbers and letters in a random order makes for the most secure passwords.
For those that are afraid of forgetting such complex names and passwords, many companies offer very secure devices to save all of this data in a single place. There are password managers available that offer a portable memory key that will house all personal information in one of the most secure computer chips available. Owners simply need to remember one pin number, much like an ATM, to access all of their information.
Online deals are getting better each and every year, but no amount of savings is worth losing one’s personal information. Even with the most basic of data, criminals can wreak havoc on credit scores, credit cards, bank accounts, and more. Keep these few hints in mind and purchase your holiday gifts with confidence this winter.
We would like to thank our guest writers on The CHW Blog! We feel it’s a honor and pleasure, to have others participate and contribute to the great content, advice and opinions on and in our CyberHood, we all live in…
help us, help them, by supporting and visiting their sites!
Learn IT, DO IT, Teach IT, Share IT, BE IT
Your CyberHood Watch® Partners
Radio Security Journalists
© 2006 – 2011 CyberHood Watch®