Like alarm systems protect your homes, good online safety practices can protect your computer and your financial information. Security companies suggest you follow these online shopping tips to keep from being swindled this holiday season.
1. Beware of scams
Unfortunately, while you’re thinking about what to buy your children or significant other, scammers are finding new ways to trick you into giving up your personal information. Be careful about phishing scams. These are very popular around the holidays. A common trick is to receive an email telling the customer that their bank information has been compromised. They are directed to log in and fix the problem by providing personal information. Never follow hyperlinks from your email. Always type the address into the browser instead.
2. Mobile Malware and Malicious Apps
Many people use their smartphone to scan product codes to find out about deals and coupons. Many malicious scammers are using the bar codes to hide viruses. Not everyone is aware that mobile devices are as susceptible to viruses and malware as a computer. They surf and download without a care in the world because they don’t realize that smartphones are vulnerable to attacks too. One way to stay safe is to only download official apps from stores you’re familiar with using. Skim the reviewer’s feedback before downloading as well.
3. Fake Contests and Promotions
Fake contests and promotions will suck you in with a fabulous prize like the newest game console or high-definition television. When you’re announced to be the winner, the scammers will insist on getting credit card information and other personal information like bank account information. These contests are on social networking sites like Facebook, which makes them seem legitimate. There’s nothing wrong with participating in fun online contests, but be sure they are from legitimate sources and never provide your personal financial information.
4. Check for the Lock
When legitimate websites are responsible for taking payment information, they want to keep you safe from theft. They will normally have a lock on their shopping cart section. Some websites like PayPal have a lock on the entire site because they are dealing with sensitive information. The lock or https in the address bar means that the site is protected. Don’t shop with a site that isn’t protected with https in the address bar or the lock in the secure area where you’ll be entering credit card information.
5. Protect Your Computer
It’s important to have up-to-date virus and malware protection on your computer. It’s not always necessary to have expensive software installed to save your computer from attack. There are many free blockers and virus protectors out there. Find one that updates automatically, so you can be safe from the newest scammer’s creations. It will help you breathe a little easier when surfing the Internet. Don’t forget to keep your other Internet-enabled devices free from malware and viruses too.
Alarm systems from California security companies can be trusted to keep your home safe with monitoring. Be sure you’re protecting your personal information with monitoring through vigilance, smart shopping and these tips for protecting yourself from computer attacks.