December 9, 2009

Tis The Season To Be Jolly?: Avoiding Identity Theft

Identity Theft OnlineAvoiding identity theft when paying online is a hot topic in today’s virtual world of shopping ~ especially at Christmas time. Consumers from all over the world are in shopping mode for online specials. This may include buying groceries, paying bills, making online purchases, and more.

Unfortunately, many of these individuals have suffered tremendous
financial losses as a direct result of identity theft.

If you handle any financial business over the internet, it is important to  be aware of a few essential safety tips that will allow you to do so safely.

  1. One of the first things that you should do when you are working on ways to avoiding identity theft when paying online is to make certain that you only purchase items on websites that are considered to be trustworthy.  If you are interested in making a purchase, take the time to ensure that you are purchasing from a website that is considered to be “secure”.  These websites often advertise that they have “secure payment systems”.  In some cases, there are websites that use PayPal. You can trust purchasing through these websites.
  2. Holiday Identity TheftThe next step to avoiding identity theft when paying online is to learn the steps that are necessary to spot phishing scams. This is a technique that is used by individuals who are seeking to steal your identity.   These people will actually set up a website that resembles a website that you know and trust. If you come across one of these websites, it is very likely that you will enter in your personal information and not even realize that you are giving it over to an identity thief. Take the time to learn what types of things identify websites and/or phishing scams.  One simple way to avoid it is to never give your password to anyone UNLESS you know who you're speaking with via telephone - I never give my passwords to anyone instant messaging me or via email — especially banking information.
  3. The next thing that you can do to avoid identity theft when paying online is to ensure that you set secure passwords to the websites that you frequent.  For example, create passwords that include alphanumeric characters and even a symbol and at least 6 to 8 characters.  Furthermore, you should ensure that you take the time to set different passwords for different accounts that you use. This way, if you get violated on one account, you do not have to worry about all of your other accounts suffering.
  4. If you use a computer that is in a public place, such as at work or in a library, you will want to ensure that you do not allow your personal information to be stored on these systems. If the information that you leave behind gets in the wrong hands, it can potentially wreck havoc on your life. You should always make sure that you log out of the accounts and that you leave no traces of your personal activity on these computer systems.
  5. Pay very close attention to the website you're shopping on and look for the https at the top of your screen.  Https stands for "Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure," it's a protocol primarily developed with secure, safe Internet transactions in mind.
  6. Take your time shopping. Pay close attention to the shopping cart, what you're entering and the checkout process.  Make sure your credit card information is not visibly seen on the computer you're using AFTER the transaction.  Once you've finished, sign out of the website you're on.
  7. The next thing that you can do when avoiding identity theft when paying online is to ensure that you pick up a credit report at least once a year.  If there are any issues when it comes to your personal and financial information, you will be able to tell by reading over the credit report carefully.

Conclusion

Online shopping is safer than you think however, it's very important that you take the steps to make sure your credit card information is not left open for anyone to see. Actually it's no different than shopping at the mall.  Once you finish your transaction, grab your receipt and put your card in a safe place.  This information is suitable for ways to prevent identity theft.

Contact me for a free 15 minute ecommerce solution consultation, I look forward to answering all of your questions.

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker - Ecommerce Solutions Expert

Regina Baker is the co-creator of Wahmcart and the Ecommerce Solutions Expert for Group Mastery.  She created Wahmcart as a full ecommerce software solution for work at home moms without the huge price tag. She's dedicated to educating the small business individual (sole proprietors) and companies with ecommerce solutions that will allow them to work smarter, not harder while at the same time providing an affordable solution that the “average” person can afford.   More about Wahmcart

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by %author%, Comments on Tis The Season To Be Jolly?: Avoiding Identity Theft »

December 9, 2009

Karen McGreevey @ 5:39 pm

This is a terrific and timely post, Regina. Thank you.

It's especially nice to see all these tips in one place–particularly at this time of year.

I find it easy to forget to check for the "https" when ordering online at new sites with which I am not familiar, although I do try to regularly look for the "lock/padlock" icon. I do need to step up my vigilance so I appreciate the reminder.

Again, thank you.

Karen
Karen McGreevey´s last blog ..Cat Care at Christmas – Ten Christmas Cat Hazards and How to Avoid Them My ComLuv Profile

reginabaker @ 10:52 pm

Hi Karen,

I too even sometimes forget to look for the secured 'https' however, I try to be very careful when ordering. I make sure the ordering process is secure by looking for things like 'secure ordering' on the order form, an address, a telephone number and something about the company.

Ah! great tip about the lock/padlock, thanks and thank you for taking the time to comment.

Best wishes to you and yours this Christmas season!

December 10, 2009

Clay Franklin @ 1:30 am

Great tips Regina. One of my favorite ideas for creating a passowrd that you can remember is to use the first letter of a sentence you can easily remember. Like Il2rRBbp
Easy to remember "I love to read Regina Baker's blog posts".
See you on Twitter,
Clay
Clay Franklin´s last blog ..10 Easy Ways to Improve Web Analytics My ComLuv Profile

Andre @ 1:44 am

Excellent article Regina. I ever go as far as using a separate Web Browser dedicated to only my secure website like my online banking, credit cards etc. This lowers the chance that if my general web browsing browser was ever hacked, I will still stand a fair chance of not giving away access to my online banking info etc.

Judy @ 1:51 am

Great information to follow–especially the password info. So many don't realize how easy it is to be scammed.
Judy´s last blog ..Stop Your Partner’s Snoring so You Can Get Enough Sleep My ComLuv Profile

Hi Regina,

Great post! This is great information that we all need to learn from. Just tonight I received 3 emails claiming to be from my bank and needing me to click here to update my account information. Only one problem this time, none of these were my bank, so I knew better.

The steps you shared are vital to avoid identity theft. A couple of them were ones I hadn't even thought about. Some good stuff here. Thanks for sharing!
Tyy @ The Hot Gifts This Year´s last blog ..Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Men in 2009 My ComLuv Profile

December 11, 2009

reginabaker @ 2:30 pm

Hi Clay!

I like the way you made up the password - that is really neat! And even neater is the fact you like to read my blog posts, now that certainly makes my day ;-) Thanks!

reginabaker @ 2:37 pm

Hi Andre! - wow, never would have thought of changing browsers for passwords ~ thanks for the tip ;-)

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Hi Judy! - There's so much information available online concerning scams. It's really not that easy to be scammed IF we stay on top of our game ~ Thanks for commenting ;-)

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Hi Tyy! - you know, I've often wondered what most people do when they see those 'bank' emails in their in box. I just hope they don't fall for it. I'm thinking that by now, most people have educated themselves to identity theft or at least have heard of it. ~ Thanks ;-)

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