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Important Data Security Tips for Shopping this Holiday Season

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December 19, 2014
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During the holiday season, more and more customers choose to shop online as opposed to going to a retailer. Though it is true that cyber attacks such as identity theft tend to spike during the holidays, there are things customers can do to keep their data secure. Here are some easy data security tips to remember this holiday season when making online purchases, whether you are using a smartphone or computer.

One of the best ways to keep your information secure is to update your software regularly. Most software updates are used to keep your computer safe, as most hackers will try to gather your information through outdated software. The easiest way for hackers to breach your security is when your software is out of date. This is why it is essential not to avoid updating your software. Even though sometimes it can be inconvenient, do not keep pushing it off because an updated computer means a safe one!

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Another tip is to make sure that the website you are using is secured. An easy way to do this is to check the web address before entering in any of your credit card information. For example, a secure website will have an address that begins with “HTTPS.” This means that the money transaction you will make, including all the information you are providing, is run through an encryption program. This is how you will know that your information is secure. Another way you will know is if there is a green padlock in front of the “HTTPS” where the address bar is.

If you have an online account with a store, it is likely that your credit card information is stored on the account for convenience. To prevent someone from hacking into your account, be sure to have a strong password. A secure password should be at least eight characters long and contain a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols. It should not be full words or include any personal information. Also, never use the same password for multiple sites. This is because if you use one password for a website that doesn’t have important data on it, they may not have a very secure system, which means hackers could quickly figure out your password. Then they will go onto other websites that may carry your credit card information and use the password they got from the previous site. To avoid this, always use different passwords.

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