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Hackers Have a List and They’re Checking It Twice! My Advice for Protecting Your Family This Holiday Shopping Seas

2014-12-05 02:10

Turkey, football, quality time with the fam…and shopping online for a new TV. That’s the stuff traditions are now made of. But do you remember the time when we waited until after the pumpkin pie was served to hit the virtual mall?

The reality is retail apps are better than ever and discounts are getting pushed out way earlier. And we are taking the bait. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. Whatever the occasion, almost half of us will browse and shop online this holiday season.

In leading the charge in cybersecurity, this calls for some advice from me to you:

Add one more tradition to your life this holiday season: smart, secure shopping habits.

Why? Hackers have a list, they’re checking it twice…and your personally identifiable information is at the top. Here are the five ways I protect my identity and finances when shopping online:

1.      Use one credit card for all online purchases. With just one credit card bill to audit closely every month I can spot anything suspicious fast and easy.

I also change this credit card number at least once a year to kill any recurring monthly charges. The purpose of that is not to stop legitimate recurring payments, like my gym membership. The point here is to stop fraudulent charges that usually start out small and can recur forever.

2.    Always get an electronic receipt Having no physical paper trail makes it harder for someone to steal credit card information. It’s as simple as that.

3.    When possible, use NFC. I’m a fan of Apple’s Near Field Communication, or ‘tap and pay’ solution. It exchanges an encrypted token with your credit card company so that merchants never know your name, number, security code. Apple acts as an added line of defense between you and attackers. NFC works with Google Wallet for Android users, too.

4.    Use a unique password for every online persona. Have an Amazon Prime account? There’s one password. Nordstrom? There’s another. Every single online market needs to be protected with a different password.

5.    Never save your password. The browser prompting you to save your password for online purchases is not your friend. It may appear to make life easier, but the second you’re connected to an external network any convenience is outweighed by the risk you’ve exposed yourself to.

Smart, secure shopping can’t be just a holiday habit—it’s something we need to practice all year long. With that, on Visa, on Mastercard, on Amex (my card of choice), on Discover…dash away all!

The post Hackers Have a List and They’re Checking It Twice! My Advice for Protecting Your Family This Holiday Shopping Season appeared first on McAfee.


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