Delivery right to your door, various product reviews at your fingertips, and the promise of snatching that sale without having to participate in an Olympic-sport-like wrestling contest for the last of this season’s hottest item? What could be better than all of that? It’s no surprise that more and more individuals are opting to do their holiday shopping on the internet.
However, with the increasing number of significant data breaches, such as the recent security breaches at Equifax and Uber, consumers have every right to be concerned about the security of their information once it is transmitted over the internet.
In order to assist preserve personal data and prevent identity theft, what are some precautions that internet buyers should take? We polled our cybersecurity instructors at the University of California, Capitol for their thoughts:
DO: Make use of a credit card that has an effective dispute resolution process.
According to what I’ve heard, American Express is one of the best credit card companies — if you dispute something, they’ll reverse it. There are some people who have a credit card that they use just for online shopping so that they don’t have to go through as much hassle if there is a disagreement over the transaction.
DON’T: Make use of websites that want to save your credit card information on their servers.
Keep your credit card information out of sight unless you really need to, because that’s where the most majority of them are being compromised during data breaches if you have the choice. When you keep your credit cards on the websites that you frequent the most, it’s easy, but it’s also where the compromises have occurred. People’s credit card details are out in the open because to sites like Uber and others that didn’t notify security breaches.
DO: Shop without hesitation on the internet.
Retailers make every effort to protect their customers’ purchases, and the likelihood of a compromise is modest given the large number of businesses and sales taking place during this time of year.
DON’T: make purchases online by following links in emails.
To avoid phishing efforts, go directly to the websites of the retailers you want to visit. Yes, your coupon will continue to be valid.
ALWAYS look for the image of a lock while you’re shopping on the internet.
It indicates that the site is secure. If you’ve never visited the site before, you may learn more about the site’s security by clicking on the lock icon. As soon as you get to the shopping cart, you’ll notice the lock there. It helps to guarantee that you’re on a safe website with encrypted transmissions. For those who haven’t been there before, or if it appears to be suspect, you can click on the lock to learn more about the network’s connection.
If you receive an e-mail that appears to be official but is actually from someone you don’t know, DO NOT click on the links.
Most of the time, you can hover your cursor over the links to see what URLs they actually point to in the browser. Consider the following scenario: you receive an e-mail that appears to be from Amazon, informing you of a fantastic offer. Don’t just assume it’s coming from Amazon; instead, look into the sender’s identity first. Many e-mail programmes allow you to accomplish this with a right-mouse click and check what the name of the recipient is. Sometimes you’ll receive an email with a link labelled “Amazon.com,” but when you click on the link, you’ll discover that it actually takes you to Bob’s Towing instead.