Do you know how to protect your personal information when you do cyber shopping on Monday?
Be careful whom you conduct business with. Buy only from major retailers or a long-time trusted merchant. It's far less likely you'll get ripped off by Kohl's than by Arreanna's Necklace Boutique. Also, Arreanna's won't have the money to spring for top-flight online security like Kohl's does.
Beef up your knowledge. If you wind up on the Arreanna site after searching a particular product, do some checking up on this site before purchasing. What kind of links come up when you do a search on their name? Are there complaints?
Use a variety of passwords. If you're registered with a number of retail sites and other sites like a bank and Facebook, make sure that your passwords for each one are different. If they're all the same and one account gets hacked, your one-for-all password could then be used to get into your other accounts.
Be frugal about how much information you give out. It's reasonable to be required to give out your credit card information, name, address and phone number. But come on, your Social Security number just to purchase a pair of boots? Shop elsewhere. Nobody needs your SSN or bank account number to sell you a tin can of cookies or a handbag.
Shop only at sites whose URL has a padlock symbol and "https." These two items mean that the site is secure. If there's no "s" after the "http," then it's not secure. Though shopping exclusively on secure sites isn't possible in many instances (like buying home-baked chocolate chip cookies), at least make this a rule for run-of-the-mill items like bed linens, towels, rugs, cutlery and clothes.
Print out your online receipts and keep them organized. This way you can match them up against your credit card statements to make sure that everything aligns correctly.
Keep your devices updated with the latest antivirus, antiphishing, antispyware and a firewall. And make sure your browser is up to date and your devices operating systems critical security patches are updated too.