EDMONTON – Just in time for the 12 days of Christmas, a local security expert is offering up 12 quick tips for fraud awareness when it comes to holiday shopping.
His number one tip?
“I like having a second credit card, and I use it for online purchases,” online security expert David Papp said. The credit card has a low limit. Since it’s for internet purchases only, it’s not a huge inconvenience on day-to-day life if it is compromised and needs to be cancelled.
When it comes to deals, Papp said, “if it’s too good to be true – it’s probably too good to be true.” He said to be especially wary of lesser-known, online-only stores.
Papp also reminded consumers to make sure they are shopping on a secure site with SSL protection.
“We keep telling people this, but it’s making sure you have that little lock symbol. We call that ‘HTTPS.’ It’s a secured connection and what it means is that everything between the website you’re communicating with and your own web browser is encrypted.”
Here are David Papp’s 12 quick fraud awareness tips to remember when online shopping:
- The best way to get your attention is with a “stunning” price, so be wary of things that are too good to be true
- The best scams don’t look like scams
- Usually the scammers don’t get reviews
- Safe payment systems take hard work, and a new website might not have put in the effort
- Look for a “real” owner
- Watch out for making purchases over public or open WiFi
- SSL protects your connection, but doesn’t protect you from who you connect to
- Review your online account settings
- Keep personal information personal
- Develop good password habits; change them often and use unique ones that are hard to guess
- Ensure the website address makes sense
- Consider a low-limit credit card
Papp recently launched a new educational website called dealsfortech.com. The site looks like it is selling discounted electronics, but when people try to buy something and are asked for payment information, it informs them they could have been scammed and provides fraud awareness information.
Papp said the point is to show how easy it can be to set up a fraudulent website.
The Alberta government also released eight tips for online holiday shopping:
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