Shopping Safely Online.

Last year Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion for the first time making it the busiest online shopping day ever.  Shopping online can be convenient and save you a bunch of money but here are some easy rules to follow to make sure that you are shopping safely.

Don’t Use Debit Cards Online.
If a website should lose your information to hackers or the website mischarges you that money is coming straight out of your checking account.  You will likely be able to get all your money back but
the time of trying to get money put back into your bank account during the holiday season is a stress that isn’t needed.

Check your credit card statements.
Log in to your credit cards website after purchases and verify that you have been charged the correct amount and check for suspicious activity.

Use Good Passwords.
Your passwords should be as long as possible. Longer than 15 characters is a great place to start.   its not that hard. “its not that hard” is an example of a good password. It is 17 characters long and isn’t easily guessable.

Use Different Passwords.
You should never use the same password on multiple websites. That way if someone hacks one website and steals your password they are not able to access all of your online accounts.  

Protect your computer.
Your computer should always have the most recent updates installed and you should be running up-to-date ant-virus.  I always suggest installing Secunia PSI on your PC and if you don’t have current anti-virus Microsoft Security Essentials is free and does a good job. Also OpenDNS is a great way to make sure your computer can’t access known bad websites.

Pass up deals too good to be true.
A website you never heard of is not selling an IPAD2 for $99. It is a scam to get your credit card information. I promise.

Shop at home.
Wireless networks at your local coffee shops are easy to “eavesdrop” on so the guy in the corner might be writing a paper or he may be waiting for you to type in your password and credit card number so he can steal it.  It is much safer to do all your online shopping at home. 

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