As Cyber Monday rapidly approaches, the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs is reminding consumers that the holiday season is a busy one for fraudsters, too. Consider the tips below to protect personal information when shopping online:
- Put computer security first: Keep up with software updates, run virus scans regularly and use anti-spyware software. Consumers are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting their personal identifying information.
- Consider the network: Using an unsecured network like free, public Wi-Fi can allow thieves to steal information with little effort. Use secured, password protected networks when shopping online.
- Use secure sites: Shop on well-known sites that are trusted. When entering sensitive data on a site, look for “https://” or “shttp://” in the address bar. The “s” stands for secure and indicates that information is being protected while it’s transmitted.
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- Consider alternate payment methods: Debit cards do not offer as many consumer protections as credit cards. Using a credit card protects a consumer’s bank account and exposes users to less liability if erroneous/fraudulent charges are not reported in a timely manner.