Today is Cyber Monday, the day consumers head to the Internet to let their fingers do the shopping. Cyber bad guys are waiting for them to slip up.
Make it more difficult for them to hack your accounts or steal your identity by reviewing six steps or practices, according to a report from Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection.
• Before shopping, update your computer’s operating system and anti-virus software. Install a firewall in your online setup.
• Make sure websites are legitimate before ordering. Check the company’s name, physical location and contact info. Beware of deals that seem too good to be true, particularly from unfamiliar websites. ID thieves can create websites that mimic a legitimate company’s site, post fake contests on social sites or publish dangerous links. They send texts or emails designed to get shoppers’ personal information.
• Make sure you are using a secure site before you enter personal or banking information. Secure sites start with “https” rather than “http.”
• Pay by credit card, not debit. Credit card users have the right to dispute charges if they report them to the credit card company within 60 days of receiving the statement.
• Keep a paper trail. Print or save records of online transactions, item descriptions and copies of emails sent between you and the seller. Watch credit card statements for unauthorized charges.
• Even with well-known online retailers, check return policies and restocking fees before submitting your order.
— Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @wallenfang