With the holidays just around the corner, it's more important than ever to ensure your data is kept private when purchasing gifts, banking, or sending money online.
Though chip-enabled credit cards have made shopping at physical store locations more secure, e-commerce thefts are on the rise. Criminals are adapting their methods to account for the popularity of online shopping.
In fact, according to the Javelin Strategy & Research's 2018 Identity Fraud Study, card-not-present fraud, like theft from e-commerce sites, is 81% more likely than point-of-sale fraud, or theft from physical store locations.
With 16.7 million identity-theft victims last year alone, even the most seasoned internet user can benefit from taking extra precautions when making online financial transactions:
1. Utilize a password manager when logging into websites.
Most of us know that creating strong passwords and changing them regularly is important for online security. This is especially important as you start creating accounts on e-commerce sites.
The easiest and potentially most secure way to create uncrackable passwords is to use a password manager that is integrated into your antivirus software, like the one included in Trend Micro's Maximum Security program.
The Trend Micro Password Manager can be deployed directly in Trend Micro Security's Pay Guard Browser, which is specifically designed to keep data secure.
2. Only purchase from websites that feature the lock icon.
When shopping online, you may notice a padlock icon on your browser, just to the left of the URL in the address bar. This means the site has secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption installed, which indicates that the site is safe to shop on. These URLs will also begin with HTTPS instead of just HTTP.
While SSL encryption is standard now for banking websites, the same isn't true for e-commerce stores- so you should look for the lock and check the URL for HTTPS before entering payment information on any website.
Most browsers will alert you if a site is not secure, and antivirus programs like Trend Micro's Maximum Security also have built-in features that block dangerous websites that are set up to steal your personal data.
3. Check your online statements regularly, including your credit report.
Don't wait until you get your financial or credit card statement at the end of the month to check for fraudulent purchases.
The faster you find these discrepancies, the easier it is to recover. You should also look for fraudulent purchases from payment platforms like PayPal and Venmo.
Remember, online thieves are not just after your credit card information. Sometimes, they want to steal your identity to open additional accounts in your name. That's why it's also vital to check your credit report through a credit bureau or online service.
4. Protect all your devices with an anti-malware/antivirus program.
Even if you take the steps above to safely shop online, you aren't completely protected. Most malicious attackers are not going to wait for you to give them your information.
You can protect yourself from these online threats with an effective anti-malware or antivirus program. Keep in mind that, with mobile threats on the rise, you need to make sure that this program protects not only your PC but also your other devices, like tablets and smartphones.
Trend Micro's Maximum Security antivirus program provides comprehensive security for all your devices. Not only does it defend against ransomware and other dangers online, but it also safeguards online payments with its Pay Guard Browser. Pay Guard's advanced security technology protects consumers when shopping or banking online, adding an extra layer of protection.