Follow these tips, adapted from tips provided by the Center for Internet Security, to protect your personal information when shopping online.
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Secure Your Environment
Secure your mobile devices and computers.
Do not use public computers or guest wireless for your online shopping.
Use strong passwords.
Don't use debit online.
Know Who You're Dealing With
Look for "https" in the URL/web address when making an online purchase.
The "s" in "https" stands for "secure" and indicates that communication with the webpage is encrypted. Be aware, though, that "https" is not a guarantee that the site is legitimate. Scammers have begun to use https for malicious websites.
Review privacy policies.
Avoid the Traps
Be suspicious of email, links, and attachments, even from trusted companies.
Scam artists will often impersonate trusted companies you may do business with. If you have not asked for information from a company, do not click links or open attachments, even if they appear to be from a known and trusted company at first glance.
Do not respond to pop-ups that promise free stuff.
When a window pops up promising you cash or gift cards for answering a question or taking a survey, close it:
- Windows: Press Control and F4
- Mac: Press Command and W
Do not auto-save your personal information.
This information can be stolen from your browser, turning the convenience of autofill into the nightmare of identity theft.