Christmas is around the corner and you need to protect your data online

Christmas is around the corner and you need to protect your data online

As everyone gears up for the holiday season, businesses and consumers have to be concerned on how they protect their data online.

A recent study found over 49% of Canadians indicated they are worried about the risk of identity theft when making online purchases. This is a high number but 75% of shoppers still plan to make their holiday purchases online this year.

Under 5% of the total number of fraud victims report their experiences to law enforcement agencies resulting $15-$30 billion annually in Canada in crime according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

So what can you do to protect your data when shopping online?

  • Use reputable websites when ordering online – Cyber criminals commonly trick people into handing over credit card information is setting up a fake website that mimics a popular website. You need to verify the company’s official webpage as cyber criminals change the URL of a fake site so it will look very similar to the real URL but it will be one or two letters off.
  • Check the security settings of your web browser – Before you enter personal or financial information on a webpage, you need to make sure you are using a secure connection. You will see a closed padlock symbol in the top left hand side of your web browser beside the URL or you will notice secure websites with “https” in the URL.
  • Get a credit card designated card for online shopping. – Security experts recommend users designate one credit card with a low limit for all their online shopping. If you are ordering something from a site and you are not familiar with the website, choose a card with a lower credit limit to protect yourself and identity.
  • Make sure your device and network are secure. – Wireless is generally inherently insecure according to security experts. Online shoppers should not be using public Wi-Fi for due to the lack of security. You should only use secure wireless networks and you should ensure you are using an up-to-date operating system and anti-virus or firewall solution.

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