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Published On: Tue, Jun 20th, 2017

7 Tips for secure shopping offline and online

The world is gravitating to online commerce. With the rise of internet retailers, more people are getting used to freely delivering their personal information at checkouts. At the same time, the rise in access to proprietary technology is helping offline criminals become more creative in their scams.

If it has been a while since you thought about your online and offline security of your personal information, then read on for some security tips to implement.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

The first place to start is with your password security. Do you use the same password, or variations of it, for all sites? While it may be easier to remember, it’s easy for hackers to exploit as well. To avoid this pitfall, use a free online password generator to randomly generate passwords for you. Track all of the new passwords in a spreadsheet and make sure that you change your passwords every six months as an extra precaution.

#2 Use two-step verification

This is a free tool offered by Google to help you add an extra layer of security to your online passwords. Two-step verification can be linked to the login of any sensitive site that you want to control access to. Internet banking, online retailers and payment services are examples of areas in which two-step verification will add value to your online security.

#3 Use a payment service provider

Instead of passing out your personal information and card details at a variety of different online retailers, consolidate it all by using a payment service provider. A payment service provider such as PayPal or Google Checkout allows you to check out of your retailer using your account at your payment service provider. Many online retailers now accept these two payment service providers and more are added to the list of retailers accepting payment from them every day.

#4 Never email your personal information

Email accounts are vulnerable to security breaches from hacking attempts made by online criminals. Storing copies of your personal ID information and card details in your email account is a haphazard practice that can end up costing you. Make sure that your delete any past records that may contain sensitive information and ensure that your email password is changed regularly.

#5 Always log out of your internet banking

Never stay logged into any internet banking or payment service provider. If your device is stolen, the thief will have direct access to your personal accounts and it will be very difficult to prove fraud or theft to your bank. Banks insure credit cards because it is their money, however, your personal accounts will not enjoy the same benefit of coverage. This error could end up costing you everything you have saved for, so make sure you are diligent and log off after your banking session.

#6 Use a RFID wallet

Offline criminals have benefitted from the technology boom as well. RFID chips are embedded in many personal identity documents and bank cards. These RFID chips contain personal information related to your financial accounts and your identity. RFID chip scanners are now made compact and portable, enabling criminals to scan the data they contain by simply sitting next to you on the tram, or standing next to you in a line. This data can be downloaded at a later stage and then used to commit fraud.

A RFID wallet from www.ibricraft.com contains a sheath of aluminum embedded into the wallet. This sheath blocks the scanner and keeps your personal data safe from criminals.

#7 Never let your card out of your sight

Your card should never leave your line of sight. Never let a waiter or retail sales consultant walk away with your card in their hand. Ask for the card machine to be brought to you, or visit the terminal yourself. Mag stripe scanners are used by criminals in the same manner as RFID chip scanners to steal your personal data.

Why take a chance?

Are you using all of the strategies and tips mentioned above? Add in the ones that are missing and ensure that your personal data is kept secure and away from criminals at all times. With the huge inconvenience and possible financial losses that could occur from identity theft, why take a chance?

Author: Huzaifa

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