Online shopping is becoming increasingly more popular every year, which makes a much bigger target for cyber attackers to steal your personal and financial information. These three quick and easy steps will help to ensure that your information will be protected when visiting or shopping on a website.
1. Look at the URL. If the URL begins with “https” instead of “http” then the website is secured through an SSL certificate where the ‘s’ stands for secure. To get this certificate, the website must go through a validation process to make sure that all of the data passing through the site is secured.
2. Check for authenticity. Real and secure websites should contain items such as a physical address, a phone number, and a privacy statement. Also, if the listed prices are too low to be believable you may want to reconsider your purchase through that site.
3. Check the domain or URL. Cyber attackers can make a duplicate of the website that looks exactly like the original, but they can’t copy the exact URL (website address) of the authentic website. Make sure to double check the URL for any minor differences before continuing your online shopping. Here are a few examples of fake vs. real website domains:
amaz0n.com instead of amazon.com
lonestarcu.cominstead of lonestarcu.org
experain.com instead of experian.com
Always remember to trust your gut! Even if all of these steps and tips pan out — if you don’t trust the site, don’t give them your information.