Prime shopping season approaches and more and more people are foregoing the lines and traffic and hassles of brick and mortar stores and opting for online shopping. A whole set of dangers lurk in this environment that require vigilance. We like to think of surfing the web as entering a hostile beehive. If you are not vigilant and protected, you will get stung and once you get stung, you become a target. Remember a few tips when shopping online:
- Be wary of email offers that provide web links to saving.
- Verify that all websites you shop from are secure and protected.
- Don’t click on pop-up links or advertising as it could potentially be malware.
- If you want to shop on a particular website, use the ADDRESS bar of your browser instead of the SEARCH bar to enter the web address. Search results may be misleading.
- If you can, complete the purchase over the phone. This usually provides a more secure option and you may even be able to get some additional discounts.
- Some credit card providers allow for the use of “virtual numbers” for one-time online shopping which can protect your credit card from fraud.
- Enroll in Credit Monitoring Services. Try to use a service that is independent of the credit reporting agencies.
- Most important of all – Make sure you have up to date anti-malware protection as well as a good backup of your data. Prevention is key; but the ability to recover is just as important.
Starting next month, the TechComm committee will answer Technology related questions in the newsletter. We will select some questions to answer (space permitting). So send your questions in to firstname.lastname@example.org early so we can research them and provide the most accurate answers!
(Submitted by TechComm Committee)