OCTOBER 2008

Tips and Tactics

November brings with it what many people consider to be the start of the holiday shopping season. As online shoppers kick-off their online shopping sprees in full force, you can be sure that cyber scammers will be gearing up, ready to unleash their tricks and make a profit.

How can you raise your security awareness before you make an online purchase? Take a look at our 5 easy tips, below.

  1. First on our list, of course, is to prepare your PC so you can guard against any unwanted intrusions. Make sure your security software (anti-spyware, anti-virus, and firewall) is up-to-date, and that you have updated your operating system with the latest patches. It’s important to do this before making any online transactions.


  2. When shopping online and providing your payment details, always look for the mark of a secure site. If the URL begins with “https://” it indicates a secure connection where the information is being encrypted. You can also check your browser window for a padlock icon, another indication that a website is secure.


  3. Stick to companies you know and trust and well-established retailers. While we all want to find the best deals available online, be aware that cyber criminals will try to use social engineering tactics to deceive you into making a purchase. If it looks too good to be true, it just might be…


  4. Consider using a separate credit card with a low credit limit for online transactions. In the event that your credit details get into the wrong hands, you can cut your losses.


  5. If you’re leery of giving your credit card number for online transactions, some credit cards companies offer an “e-card” solution that gives the user the ability to create a temporary credit card number to be used just once or with a spending limit.

Stay tuned next month when we’ll bring you a more comprehensive look at the online scams to be on the lookout for this year, as well as the tips and tactics that will keep you protected.

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