One of the biggest benefits of shopping in the modern age? You can do it all online in your pajamas, from the comfort of your own home. Of course, there are two sides to every coin, and when it comes to online shopping, the side you never want to see is identify theft. Unfortunately, identify theft is a growing problem and is expected to continue to pose major problems in the 2020s, according to tax audit defense firm TaxAudit. Here are some tips for guarding yourself against identify theft.
First, be sure to shop at websites whose Web addresses start with “https.” Why? Because the “s” part is a sign that your computer network communications will be secure. In other words, you’ll enjoy added protection when you input your credit card number on an “https” site.
Also, avoid shopping on unsecured Wi-Fi when you’re in public—for example, when you’re at the mall or at McDonald’s. The truth is, thieves could easily eavesdrop and grab a hold of any personal information or credit card information you plug into a website while on a public network.
Another important move is to secure your home’s Wi-Fi using a password. This is critical because even a wireless thermometer, wireless door lock, or wireless printer can become an access point for an identity thief.
Yet another smart step to take to protect yourself when shopping online is to use unique and strong passwords for your online accounts. Ideally, you should utilize a phrase that people won’t easily remember. Also, be sure to keep your mobile phone’s and computer’s security software as up to date as possible. A firewall should be in place to prevent intrusions.
By following the above tips, you can put yourself in the best position possible to shop online safely from one season to the next.