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June 02, 2011

  • Shopping Safely Online, Pt.2
       Safety begins at home.


    Safety begins at home and with your computer network. Hackers can easily steal debit and credit card information if your wireless network is not secure. If your wireless network is not "secure", read the directions that came with the router to learn how to secure your network. It is not a difficult process and will not interfere with shopping online. It will, however, lock the router and encrypt your credit card information so that hackers are not able to steal it.

    Do not open up any email that has been labeled as "spam" by your internet provider or that comes from someone you do not know. These spam emails can be phishing emails attempting to steal your debit and credit card information. Some spam emails may also contain Trojans or viruses which are malicious software that can steal your personal information or credit card data. Use a good spam filtering system and trusted security software to help detect possible attacks.

    Storing sensitive information such as debit and credit card information on a website is never recommended particularly social networking sites such as Facebook and Google Calendars. These sites which are growing in popularity are not secure. They may be helpful in organizing simple tasks and communicating to family and friends, but are not protected to the level of banks and credit card companies.

    Use the alerts function available from most banks that notify you whenever a debit or credit card transaction exceeds a designated amount. These alerts can be the first sign that something has gone astray and that a thief has accessed your account information.

    Use a different password for each credit card or bank account. If a thief should learn your password for one account, he could very well learn of your other accounts. Using the same password could end up be double jeopardy. Take the time to set up an organized system for keeping track of your passwords so that you can protect each account if the other has been compromised.

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