Tips for safe online shopping during the Christmas season and all year long.
Online Christmas shopping has been growing in popularity for years. Enter a global pandemic, and expectations can only be that the number of online shoppers will increase this holiday season. At the same time, you don’t have to scan the news for long to know that the threat of encountering malware, ransomware, viruses, and scams while shopping online is also rising.
So how can consumers protect their health by staying home while simultaneously enjoying safe online Christmas shopping? Below are a few tips to keep you and yours safe as you shop online this holiday season.
- Create strong passwords by stringing three, or more, words together. This is a newer concept referred to as a passphrase to help you remember it should be more than one word.
- Use a strong passphrase for your email and do not share that passphrase with any other account.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA), also known as multi-factor authentication (MFA), for all accounts that offer this feature. This adds another layer of security so that even if your passphrase is compromised the attacker should not be able to access your account.
- Give yourself the gift of a password/passphrase manager to keep all your passwords safe.
- Keep all devices and apps up to date. Setting devices and apps to update automatically is the best practice.
- Make sure you backup your data. This is commonly accomplished using cloud storage services or on an external hard drive.
- Don’t make purchases while connected to public WiFi networks.
- Only use official retailer apps and websites to shop and don’t buy from retailers you are unfamiliar with until you can confirm their legitimacy.
- Don’t save your credit card or banking information in your accounts.
- Keep a close eye on your credit card and banking accounts after making online purchases.
Don’t forget these practices once the Christmas season has ended. Form healthy online shopping habits that will stick with you all year long. After all, little Johnny will want a present for his birthday too.