Dangers of online shopping have greatly increased the chances of becoming a victim of identity theft and are unfortunately becoming very common place.
Every year identity theft happens to over 9 million Americans.
Identity theft was the highest category of complaints reported by the FTC.
Due to security breaches, since 2005, Americans have had over 245 million data records exposed.
One of the most dangerous areas for any consumer is shopping online.
Go to scam alerts to see more scams happening right now.
If you are not aware of basic security measures to take for your safety, you can easily become a victim of identity theft.
Here are a few very important safety tips to be knowledgeable about and implement when making purchases online.
Did You Know? Hackers are able to use “network sniffers” to secretly listen to you.
Be extremely aware of the dangers of online shopping and don’t allow the scammer to listen in on your shopping expedition by joining your network.
These updates will protect you with the most recent fixes before starting your shopping.
Don’t avoid or bypass updates, as dangers from web applications are now very common and can be devastating if you unknowingly pick a bad web site to enter.
Encryption will scramble any information you send such as a credit card number.
This prevents hackers from obtaining the information while it’s on the way.
Many times the “s” won’t show up until you are on the actual web site order page.
Also used to tell you a web site is secure is a closed padlock that will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.
If the lock appears to be open, don’t input any personal information, as the web site does not appear to be secure.
Some web sites appear to be the real deal and are only fronts to grab your credit card information and steal your identity.
Phishing attacks are very common for identity theft, so don’t click on any links provided in an email.
Make sure you consistently check your credit.
You can ask your bank for your report; if you are signed up with an Identity Theft program, you can get your report from them and receive word of any threats made against your credit.
You can always go to annualcreditreport.com and receive your credit report from the 3 bureaus once a year, or you can go to one of the credit bureaus once every 4 months.
This makes it so you’re able to see your credit spread out over a year's period of time rather than getting all the reports at say, the beginning of the year and then not be able to check again for the rest of the year.
That’s a long time for a criminal to compromise your credit and life.
So protect yourself from the dangers of online shopping and implement the tips above to protect your personal information from being hijacked and causing you to become the next victim of identity theft.