How to Secure Your Cyber Identity During the Holidays
Never Duplicate a Password
If you have the same password across multiple websites that you use for managing your money, banking, and social media, you are vulnerable to hackers who can take over your information and finances.
Try enabling a password manager to store passwords, and make sure you keep the manager secured. You can use Google password manager, or check into other legitimate paid services for securing and storing your passwords online such as LastPass.
Check the SSL Certificate of any Site you Shop on
Around the holidays, many popup websites will promise great deals, and not all of them are reputable retailers. Make sure the address bar states HTTPS, not HTTP to check for the SSL certification. The “S” in https stands for secure, and this connection type is only given to legitimate online businesses that apply through the proper channels.
For more information on SSL certificates and the dangers of HTTP, click here.
Check the Rating of the Business Online
To prevent being ripped off or having your identity stolen, check BBB ratings and Google reviews of a business before shopping with them or signing up for an email list. Do not rely solely on ratings and reviews that you find on the site, as these are often copied and pasted replicas of great reviews for a legitimate site. View complaints and ratings from reputable sources to check the legitimacy of online businesses. Check out the Benefits of Online Reviews
Be Vigilant with Apps for Shopping
Look out for apps for your smartphone which promise great deals. Apps like Wish and Amazon are great for shopping, but you may find variations of these names that are actually mimicking the site to scam you out of your money. Look closely for signs that tell you this is not a legitimate app, like a different logo, or different background and interface.
Enable two-step Verification for Banking and Shopping Sites
With two-step verification in place, having your password will not be enough for a hacker to gain access to your profile and information. You would receive a code to input on your phone, or another connected device to input when verifying you are the one entering the site. Consider this for any sites you have banking information connected to, especially your PayPal, which can often have multiple accounts tied to it.
Use Secure Wi-Fi When Shopping
Often we meet with friends for coffee during the holiday season and end up using a public wi-fi connection to shop online. When you use a public connection, you are much more susceptible to identity theft and are putting your cyber-security at risk.