Online shopping has become so common with consumers that it’s easy to develop bad habits when it comes to protecting your personal information. With the holidays, and holiday shopping, fast approaching, now is a good time for consumers to remind themselves how they can stay safe while shopping online.
Whether making purchases on a mobile device or home computer, here are eight tips to keep your personal information protected this holiday season.
1. Use a familiar website. Rather than click on an ad, start at your favorite retail outlet’s website.
2. Look for the icon of a green padlock in the URL address bar. It could also appear at the bottom of your browser. This signifies added security.
3. Never buy anything from a site that doesn’t have secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption. You’ll know if a website has it because it will start with ‘HTTPS://’ rather than just ‘HTTP://’.
4. No online shopping site should ever ask for your social security number or birthdate to do business. Provide as little information as possible to online retailers.
5. Check your accounts regularly, especially during the holidays. Don’t wait for your statement to identify fraudulent charges. If you see something wrong, call your bank or credit card company immediately. You may be protected against fraudulent charges.
6. Make sure your devices are up-to-date on their antivirus protection.
7. Be careful where you click. Avoid unknown pop-up ads or ads imbedded in unfamiliar websites.
8. Don’t send your credit card information via email or post on social media, even in private messages.
Another way to keep your personal information protected is to make sure your devices are protected. There are several ways to maintain the most up-to-date protection on your computer or mobile device.
1. Lock your device with a password.
2. Be mindful of what you download.
3. Update when prompted.
4. Delete apps that are no longer being used from mobile devices.
5. Disable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when not in use.
6. Install security software, and update regularly.
Cox customers can stay one step ahead with Cox Security Suite Plus powered by McAfee, a free service included with Cox High Speed Internet. You can protect up to five Windows or Mac OS X computers, Android smartphones and tablets, and Apple iOS iPhones and iPads through each Cox account.
The Security Suite offers virus and spyware protection; vulnerability scanner; firewall; Spam protection; remote locate; lock and wipe feature for mobile devices; CaptureCam that allows mobile devices to email a photo of the person holding a lost device plus the device location; backup; WebAdvisor that verifies links within web browsers; and more!
For more information on online security and the Cox Security Suite Plus, visit cox.com and search for ‘online security’ or visit a Cox Solutions Store in your neighborhood today.