How safe is it shopping online? Do you ever give a second thought to you online purchases? In today’s modern technology culture, we pass out personal information without much concern. Criminals have long been aware of the complacency in both online and offline shoppers and look to exploit any opportunities they may find in your online and offline security.
When was the last time you gave yourself an audit on the security of your personal information? If it has been a while, then check out these eight tips to improve the security of your personal information in your activities online and offline.
Tips for Safer Online Shopping
#1 Two-step verification
This free tool available from the Google play store is designed to add an extra layer of security when accessing sites that may contain sensitive personal data. Internet banking and payment service providers are great examples of sites to use two-step verification with. When you log on to your site, you will be prompted for an automatically generated, time-sensitive code in order to access the site.
#2 Password generators
Improving your password security is a great idea. If you have been using the same password for all of your logins, then you are taking a huge risk with your online security. Search online for a free password generator and use the tool to automatically create random passwords for you to use. Store all of your new passwords on a spreadsheet for easy access. Change your passwords every six months using the password generator and update your spreadsheet.
#3 Remember to Logout
Always log out of any sensitive site. This includes payment service platforms and internet banking services. Leaving them open, or enabling the quick access log in function are disasters waiting to happen. If your device is stolen the thief will be able to drain your accounts easily. Take the extra time to log in and out of your desired platforms securely and safely.
#4 Keep your internet security updated
‘Wannacry’ is the name of the recent ransomware developed by hackers and used to attack hundreds of thousands of devices all around the globe. This malware only infected devices that were running outdated operating systems and did not have the required security patches to avoid infection.
Make sure that your devices are running the latest versions of antivirus, anti-malware, and anti- phishing software from a reputable internet security provider. Saving a few bucks by using a free version may end costing you more than you had bargained for.
#5 Never email your personal information
Email has changed the way we communicate. However, it has also opened a door to our personal information for hackers and criminals. Email servers are constantly compromised. Leaving any sort of digital copies of your ID documents or credit cards in your account is asking for trouble. Make sure your inbox and trash are completely emptied of any sensitive documents and never email them to anyone.
#6 Don’t let retail stores make photocopies of your credit card or ID
The offline world contains security risks to your personal information as well. Never let a store clerk make a copy of your credit card. If they insist and you can’t get around it, ensure that they black out the last four digits of the number, the expiry date, and the CVV number on the rear of the card.
#7 Never let your card out of your sight
If you are paying for dinner, never leave your credit card in the hands of the waitrons. Magstripe readers are small and easy to use, giving criminals direct access to your card information and personal details. Ask the waiter to bring the machine to you, or accompany them personally to the terminal. Keep your eyes on your card at all times.
#8 Use a RFID wallet
RFID chips are found in your bank card and embedded into your passport. They contain sensitive data such as your PIN number, personal details, and biographical information. Criminals are able to use scanners to pick up the information in the RFID chip by standing next to you in a supermarket. To block the scanner, use a RFID wallet, such as the one offered by Ibricraft.com
Keep your guard up
Implementing these tips into your online and offline behavior will increase the security around your personal data and help you mitigate the risk of personal identity theft. Always be diligent with your information and where you choose to use it and store it.
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