Are you staying safe while shopping online?
As the holidays roll around once again, scammers start working double-time to try and get your data and take advantage of how freely and easily people are spending money in the lead-up to Christmas.
You can get the help of an identity theft lawyer if things go wrong and you do end up losing your data. This can easily happen to any of us and is nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, if you can learn how to spot the signs and keep your data safe then this is the best way to avoid drama and stress around the holidays.
Manage your passwords
There are some simple techniques regarding passwords to help you to stay safe. For example, you should make sure you use long, complex passwords and use unusual characters. Also, avoid using the same password for everything.
On your phone, you may be able to use your fingerprint or face ID for an extra level of security, and new security features are being added all the time. You should try to take advantage of these.
Also, password manager programs like LastPass create strong passwords for all of your accounts and allow you to manage these simply and easily. This means if there is a data breach and you lose a password, scammers don't have access to all of your accounts. You may not even know your passwords yourself, so it doesn't matter if you lose them
Don't save your credit card information on your accounts
Saving credit card details on accounts means that if people gain access, they can order items on your card. They might even be able to use drop-off points so that there is no way of tracing them easily, and some criminals get away with ordering on other peoples' accounts.
In some scenarios, data stored on your accounts can be stolen by hackers, even if the company itself doesn't have any intentions of scamming you.
Never make purchases on public Wi-Fi
On public Wi-Fi, it is almost impossible to know exactly what the security settings are, and it is possible that criminals can use public or free Wi-Fi to steal your data. Some criminals even set up fake networks to tempt people to use it, but all the time they are tracking what you are doing and stealing your data.
Try shopping with the extra security of a VPN
A VPN can mask your identity and hide your connection, effectively providing an extra layer of security. If you are using any network other than your own then this is almost an essential addition. VPNs are great for masking personal information and can help you to avoid data being stolen.
Use a credit card, not a debit card
Credit cards are known for being better to buy items on because they have more robust chargeback schemes. If you order something on a credit card and it doesn't arrive, or you don't get what you actually bought, credit cards might be able to stop the transaction or “recall” the money so that you don't lose it altogether.
If the worst does happen and you find someone is using your credit card, it may also provide you with less hassle to cancel than if you have to get a new debit card.
It doesn't take too much to be cautious online and minimize the chances of your data being stolen. Following our tips is a way to try and ensure that your card details and other personal data don't get stolen or lost.