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Security Tips From the Pros

Security Tips for Online Shoppers, From the Pros

At Infininx we protect SMBs against intrusion, targeted attacks and Internet threats by providing a high level of security and network integrity — security that most individuals don’t have when they go online.

Fraudsters and identity thieves prey on the novice mistakes of online shoppers, making the business of virtual theft a lucrative one. If you don’t have the defense of an IT support firm, protect yourself, and your assets, with these tips from the pros.

Only shop on secure sites. How to tell? Look for the padlock. It will most likely be found in the address bar of a site. Sometimes the address bar itself will turn a different color when you enter the site. Paul Wagenseil of Tom’s Guide writes, “The ‘http’ prefix on the website, if it’s visible, will change to ‘https’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’ Learning to read these browser indicators is an important way to avoid becoming a victim of cybercriminals.”

Stay away from ‘phishy’ looking sites and emails. Remember the Wal-Mart phishing attack in May 2013? At least 2 million people received an email from “Wallmart” alerting them that an order was being processed, the link led to the invisible download of malware. Red flags for malicious sites and emails include misspellings, poor design, strange urls or sender addresses, and multiple pop-up windows.

Change and vary your passwords. Seriously. We know, we know, you are asked to remember dozens of passwords for various accounts. Do not stick with the same password for every account, or choose passwords that are easy to guess. Instead keep a careful record in a secured document, or develop a mnemonic device to help you remember.

Don’t click on embedded links. The Better Business Bureau warns that legit businesses do not send follow-up emails requesting financial information or verification. If you do receive an email that appears authentic after making a purchase, instead of clicking on any links type the business’s url into the address bar to visit the site or call customer service. And don’t ever, ever share your SSN when making a purchase online.

When in doubt, a healthy dose of skepticism and caution can go a long way in protecting your credit cards and information.