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Online Shopping Security Tips From Overton Security

Helping you stay protected.


Consumers are turning to online shopping in increasing numbers, especially during the holiday season. Shoppers become careless and easy targets for identity theft and online scams. Please assist us in helping you take charge of your security by following a few simple but effective security tips.

Internet technology has revolutionized how we shop; however, it has not come without its challenges, of which the most common are online fraud and identity theft.

  • First, make sure you update your computer’s anti-virus and anti-spyware software by downloading the latest security updates. Turn off your computer when it is not in use.
  • Whether you are using Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, keeping your browser updated will help ensure that you are getting the most up-to-date security protection.
  • Consider using online payment services such as PayPal, which will keep your credit card information secure, allowing you to make online purchases without disclosing your credit details.  Some will monitor suspicious activity and cover most unauthorized purchases.
  • It is wise to download mobile apps from sources you trust, such as the Apple App Store, Google Play, or apps that come directly from the online retailer.
  • Computer viruses are always changing, and new viruses are being developed on a continuing basis. Your security provider will make every effort to keep up. When you are prompted to update your security software, don’t hesitate.
  • Avoid making purchases over public, unsecure Wi-Fi, such as connecting your phone to Starbucks’ Wi-Fi and then shopping on Amazon, as this could leave your personal information at risk.
  • As mobile devices gain in popularity, the opportunities for ID theft increase considerably. If you are using a wireless connection, make sure it is encrypted with a password. Better yet, if you are buying online, use your own computer.
  • Make sure your passwords are unique, difficult to discover, and have at least six characters. Do not, as many people do, use the same or slight variations of your passwords for different sites. Incorporate random numbers and upper-case letters as well as symbols.
  • Use your credit card instead of your debit card. Debit cards give identity thieves a direct line to your bank account. With your credit card, you will be better protected and face less liability if your card number is stolen. Also, with a credit card, it is easier to dispute and reverse charges.
  • Shop, when possible, at trusted brands and with secure web sites. The lock symbol in your browser’s Status Bar and “https://”URLs in the Address Bar indicate secure connections when placing orders. The lock isn’t a guarantee of security, but its absence is a guarantee of no security.
  • Avoid sharing your address and phone numbers on social sites or storing credit card numbers and passwords in your email account. If a site requires registration, fill in only the required fields. Look closely for any checkboxes relating to sharing your information. You may need to check or uncheck to deny sharing information. Never click on a link from a pop-up, and configure Windows or your Web browser to block them.
  • Do not keep passwords, tax returns, or other financial information on your hard drive, and never send confidential information via email.
  • Most browsers include built-in detection of fraudulent web sites using a combination of “blacklisting” and actual web page analysis. Be sure this feature is turned on and take it seriously.
  • The Fair Credit Billing Act protects online purchases with credit cards by limiting your responsibility for fraudulent or erroneous changes to $50.  The Federal Trade Commission provides an example letter, so all you need to do is fill in the blanks with your information.
  • If you get an email about a problem with your bank, or other financial institution, considered “phishing” never click on any links. Go directly to your bank’s website and research the problem.
  • If you have children, even at an early age, they can become online Ninjas before you realize the problem.  If old enough, get them on the family team in protecting your identity.  If not, use parental controls and private data protection to limit their ability to disclose family secrets.

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