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.