More than 864,000,000 personal records have been exposed since 2005 through online fraud and identity theft. The transition from cash to a paycard comes with a bunch of benefits, but with great power comes a threat of fraud. October is cyber security month and with the holiday shopping season starting soon, it’s the perfect time of year to start thinking about your online presences and what information you might have out there on the internet. Being smart with your information online is easy and pays off in the long run.
The easiest way to protect your information online is to never give out your information to anyone online who you do not trust or if they are not authorized by any organization to accept and process payments. This rule of thumb also applies to over-the-phone or in-person purchases. If you’re feeling skeptical or uneasy about the website you found the product on check other websites for the same product. Many online sellers offer their products on different sites so be sure to shop around for the site with the best security features before you make your final purchases. Another thing to keep in mind before you make your purchase, be sure to know the site’s return policy before buying. Also be aware if you’re signing up for a subscription service with recurring costs, these reoccurring costs every month can be a surprise to many people.
In addition to being confident in the merchant you’re purchasing from, also be confident in keeping your information safe and out of the hands of fraudsters and criminals. Keep your online passwords and login information safe and unique; different accounts, different password. Be sure to write down your password somewhere that’s secure and away from your computer.
Keep your online passwords and login information safe and unique. Be sure to write your passwords down somewhere away from your computer. Never accept cookies or tracking software from any merchants you don’t trust. When purchasing online, look for websites with https:// (or the extra “s”) in their address, these websites have an extra layer of security that will protect your information. Be sure to keep your machine “clean” by running malware reports and running up-to-date software on all your devices.
Being safe online is much more than not sharing your login information, it’s about protecting your moneys and personal information from people who want to steal it and use it illegally. Small steps can lead to the safety and protection of your hard-earned money. These steps can keep you safe and also prevent criminals from stealing more money and continuing their devious behavior.