FINANCIAL FRIDAY: Shopping Online and staying safe

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 12:57 PM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Experts say shoppers will spend $11.8 billion this Cyber Monday. Before you turn on your computer or pull up your favorite site, consider these tips for staying safe online. According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, crimes related to online shopping were the second most crime reported behind Phishing/Vishing.

WAFF talked to Ashish Baria, the Manager of Information Security at Redstone Federal Credit Union. He recommends these tips to stay safe online:

  • Shop with a reputable retailer. Fraudsters can duplicate websites that look like the real thing. Always type the site in yourself, don’t go there from an email you received from someone.
  • Look for the lock. Before you purchase something and enter your payment information, make sure to check for HTTPS or a lock icon at the beginning of the URL on a retailer’s website. This ensures that the site is secure and data in transit is encrypted.
  • Only shop from a secured network. Never use public Wi-Fi for shopping or banking online. Public networks are often unencrypted and unsecured.
  • Don’t overshare. No online retailer needs your social security number or your birthdate. However, if crooks get them and your credit card number, they can do lots of damage.
  • Always use unique and strong passwords. Also, make sure you enable MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) where available, and keep your systems up to date with the latest software updates.
  • Monitor your accounts. Set up alerts and take a few extra minutes to keep an eye on your accounts and credit card statements during the holiday season. Glance over the transactions and make sure they are correct.
  • Bottom Line: Stay vigilant and proactive while shopping online this holiday season and keep your personal information and finance safe.

For more ways to save be sure to tune in at noon every Friday for WAFF 48′s “Financial Friday” segment.