Familiarize yourself with sites before buying online
Online shopping is convenient, both for you and for cyber attackers. Heavy use periods like the holiday shopping season are open season for online attackers. Even well-known sites may lack proper encryption, allowing your personal information to be intercepted during transaction. Before you begin your shopping this year, take a few steps to protect yourself.
- Reviews: Before buying from a site, look online for customer reviews. What do other people have to say about it? Have their experiences been good ones?
- Ads: Only give your business to online stores that you know and trust. Avoid making purchases through unknown sites that you see advertised on social media and in spam emails.
- Security: Before purchasing, check your browsers address bar for HTTPS and the padlock icon to verify a site is secure. Check the security, privacy or FAQ sections of every site to familiarize yourself with the methods used to protect your information.
- Apps: If you use apps for sites like Etsy, eBay or Amazon for online shopping, make sure you are fully aware of their privacy policies and any settings that allow them to share your information. If you make purchases on your phone or other Wi-Fi enabled devices, connect to a secure network before sharing billing or address information.