Staying Safe Online During the Holidays

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During the holiday season, it is more important than ever to take steps to ensuring you are safe while shopping online and surfing the internet. For both business and personal purposes, take a look at these guidelines (some provided by our friend Bob Riesenbach) before checking your holiday list. 

1.  As with all internet surfing, make sure that the site you are using is secure. Look for https in the URL and a locked padlock in the address bar. 

2.  Always avoid weak passwords and update your passwords periodically. A strong password should have at least 10 characters, using a combination of numbers, symbols, and upper and lower case letters. 

3.  Use anti-phishing software and make sure it is updated. 

4.  Avoid deals online that are too good to be true. 

While sites like Amazon can offer ease and affordability, beware of issues that can arrive with these larger retailers. Many consumers have recently fallen victim to fake sellers on Amazon, who claim to be selling merchandise and instruct the user to text or email the seller first. The buyer is then asked to buy Amazon gift cards to pay for the merchandise. As you may have guessed, the seller receives the gift card but never sends the merchandise. Amazon will not refund the money if the gift card has been used. This is just one of many scams out there, and it can be harmful. 

Some simple rules to follow when on sites like Amazon"

1.  If a seller asks for you to call, text or email, don't do it.

2.  If you need to ask the seller a question, Amazon sellers have links next to each item they are selling for you to send questions or messages. Amazon forwards the messages without giving your email address. 

3.  Do not buy Amazon gift cards to purchase an item, if asked to do so.

4.  Do not follow links to other sites, where you can pay for your Amazon purchase. Use only Amazon's payment system.

 

Please make your holiday shopping safe and secure. This is the most vulnerable season for buyers. Let's keep it a season of cheer. 

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