For many, the holiday season brings a flurry of online purchases. With so many gifts to check off your list, it can be all too easy to lose sight of safe shopping practices to keep your personal and account information protected from hackers. Here are a few tips from your hometown bank.
Shop online with private Wi-Fi
While you might be tapping in to your multitasking abilities this season, avoid using public Wi-Fi, like at a restaurant or mall, when making online purchases. When using public Wi-Fi, you’re at an increased risk of falling victim to hackers. Instead, shop on your private network.
Browse secured websites
Websites that begin with “https” are secured sites. If you’re putting your card information into a website that begins with only “http,” you may be at an increased risk of getting your information stolen. It may be tempting to buy from unfamiliar websites for a better deal, but it may not be worth the risk.
Keep software up-to-date
It’s important to keep your computer and anti-virus software current to keep you and your family safe when browsing the Internet. Do not click on software links or popups you suspect may be malware.
Use strong passwords
Create strong, complex passwords for your online accounts. Using simple, or the same, password for all of your accounts could give hackers greater access to your personal information, accounts, and more. Try using a trusted online password keeper to store your unique passwords instead of writing them down.
Opt-in to multi-factor authentication
It’s a good idea to opt-in to “multi-factor” or “two-step” authentication if prompted by an online account. This will often have you enter a one-time code from your email or text message to verify that you are not a hacker signing in. This extra step will slow down your sign-in time, but will give you added protection.
Visit Tri City’s Fraud Prevention webpage for additional tips on keeping your information safe.