Sometimes, you want to buy something very specific and no stores in your area carry that item. Other times, you get an email enticing you to attend a sale that is irresistibly good. Maybe it is just that you are just too busy to get to out and purchase something you really need. Whatever the reason, online shopping has gone from a preference to a near necessity. This is what we were thinking about at the Identity Theft Resource Center when we decided to cover online shopping safety for our Identity Theft Twitter Chat in September.
We thought it would be good to let our readership dip their toes into the world of staying safe while online shopping by giving just a few of the many tips we will be sharing during our upcoming event. So, we put together a list of a couple of our favorite tips for you:
- Use Secure Sites: Secure websites use security technology to transfer information from your computer to the online merchant’s computer. This technology scrambles (encrypts) the information you send, such as your credit card number, in order to prevent computer hackers from obtaining it “en route.” This reduces the number of people who can access the transaction information. The following items shown on your web browser will indicate a connection to a secure web site.
- https:// The “s” that is displayed after “http” indicates that the website is secure. Often, you do not see the “s” until you actually move to the order page on the website.
- A closed yellow padlock displayed at the bottom of your screen. If that lock is open, you should assume it is not a secure site.
These tips are not really hard to remember so we recommend that you learn them and always use them. There is nothing like waiting in the mail for a package and getting a big fat case of identity theft instead. For more tips about online shopping safety, to ask questions or to learn about resources to help keep you safe, join our upcoming Identity Theft Twitter Chat (#IDTheftChat) on September 5th at 11:00am PST. You can view questions and RSVP here. In the meantime shop safely and we hope to chat with you soon!
"Identity Theft is Never on Sale" was written by Nikki Junker. Nikki is the Media Manager at the Identity Theft Resource Center. We welcome you to post/reprint the above article, as written, giving credit to and linking back to www.idtheftcenter.org.