Top Five Tips: Stay Safe Shopping Online
California, (December, 2011) — ‘Tis the season for shopping online and NERDS want to make sure that you protect your personal information while finding the best deals out there. NERDS put together their top five tips to follow to stay safe when shopping online.
Create some Cyber distance: NERDS recommend keeping some distance between your online shopping and your bank and credit cards by not using the same email account for retail logins and purchase confirms as you use for your bank login and password resets. Also, we suggest you don’t use the same password at retail sites as you do for your online banking.
Protect your credit card number: NERDS suggest you never store your credit card or personal information with the retailer – un-check boxes that refer to “remember me”. Look and pay attention to small print and check box options as you click through confirm pages. Finally, find out if your credit card company offers a unique number for online purchases.
Password tips: Don’t use a word found in the dictionary, consider a pass-phrase or a word that integrates letters and/or symbols (for example, “d3ck the ha77s”). Never use the same password everywhere, if a thief should figure one out, they won’t be able to use it other places. Also, look to set up a customized confirm question, if possible. Try not to use your Mother’s maiden name or city you grew up in as it is easy to find that information out in today’s Facebook connected world.
Don’t feel compelled to constantly change your passwords. Keeping a written list around because there’s no other way you could possibly remember them is far more dangerous than maintaining one great pass-phrase.
Beware of unsolicited emails or phone calls: Most reputable companies will not be emailing or calling to ask for such personal information. If you are unsure, always call the number on the back of your card instead of responding to a call or email.
Only shop at trusted sites: Amazon is great for the novice online shopper due to the variety of products and simple interface. Otherwise, consider well known shopping websites and brand websites. If you must venture onto an unknown site, look for the https:// in front of the web address at check out, as it reflects that information provided to the site is over a secure connection. Finally, check out reviews of the merchant before you give them your personal info at sites like Google or nextag.com.