Protecting yourself when you do your shopping online is of utmost importance. The good news is that there are effective ways to reduce your risk of falling victim to a predator in cyberspace. In Part One, we looked at some of those ways. Now, in Part Two, we continue to look at other ways to stay safe as you prowl for bargains and deals over the Internet.
Do not save your credit card information on the hard drive of your computer. If your computer gets stolen or hacked into, where will that leave you? In a bad place for sure! Instead, save the information on a memory stick and/or on CDs. Always store these items in a secure and safe place that no one else knows about.
If you cannot get away with not saving personal information on the hard drive of your desktop or laptop, install a program that will keep it as secure as possible. One such program is Password Agent. There is a free version to this program as well as a paid version. To learn more about this program visit their website.
When you buy something over the Internet always review the charges that show up on your credit card bill. Verify every charge that you are being billed for. If you find a discrepancy somewhere, such as something you did not purchase, then get in touch with the credit card company immediately and report it to them. Not all online criminals do things on a large scale. Some are able to steal sensitive personal information and then use it to make small purchases over time. They do this because they think it will not be noticed by the consumer. Don’t be fooled!
A credit monitoring service is available from many of the major credit bureaus. This is a smart option for those who shop online on a regular basis. TransUnion runs an Identity Fraud Watch service that sends out e-mails to concerned consumers on a weekly basis to let them know if any alterations have been made to their profile or their credit reports. This service costs around $45 to $50 annually but is worth the money. Equifax and Experian are two other credit bureaus that have similar systems that are looking out for the rights of consumers. The more you do to protect yourself when shopping online the less you have to worry about!