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Online Security

Be Sure Your Online Vendors are Secure

When shopping online, always be sure to confirm that your online retailer takes the proper security measures to protect its customers. One letter in an online business’ URL can help you identify if it is safe to make a purchase on a website. When in an online retailer’s shopping cart the “https://” on a web address signifies that the information traveling between you and the website is encrypted, which makes it secure from all but the most advanced of third-party computer infiltration. In contrast, if you see that a website’s URL features “http://”, then steer clear of any transactions with that company. Without an encryption, an online vendor is putting its customers’ financial information at risk of being stolen, which can lead to identity theft.

Keys to Protecting Your Privacy Online

The complexity of online-based crimes continues to rise, so it is important that online purchasers take the necessary precautions to prevent themselves from being susceptible to such wrongdoings. Simply updating one’s antivirus software once every few months is no longer enough. Computer users must be proactive in their efforts to defend against identify theft.

First, online purchasers should make sure that their browser is constantly blocking “cookies”. Simply visiting a website allows marketers to collect data points about an internet surfer, which helps them to build a profile. Once the profile is established, this information is sold without the consent of the computer user to companies around the world. Blocking cookies helps to prevent some of the data collection, specifically highly important material such as usernames, passwords, and other important data that should remain private.

Today’s social-media age is driven by the gathering and categorizing of personal information. Although sites like Facebook can be helpful to an online consumer, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, one should never put their full birth date on a social networking profile. This is information that often times, a marketer does not even need to “friend” someone to gain access. If the marketer knows what year a person was born in, then that profile will certainly be categorized. Additionally, social network users should be careful when selecting what applications their download. “Apps” can access large amounts of personal information, so users should be sure that the app that they select was designed in the U.S. That way, if something were to go wrong, consumers could have legal recourse. The last and most obvious key to social networking sites pertains to who one surrounds themselves with in their online community. Accepting a friend request from a total stranger can lead to not only exposing the personal information of the request receiver, but also grants the request sender access to an entirely new list of “prospects”. This also illustrates why it is imperative to maximize the privacy settings on one’s social networking profile page. Since not all of one’s peers will take the necessary precautions, it is vital to be proactive to prevent unwanted exposure.

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