Just a reminder about staying safe when shopping online…most folks would rather not camp out for block buster/door buster deals, especially when craziness could get one hurt. So, for the many who shop online, here’s how not to get hurt by doing so. The key is “layers”. With all the hacking of store chain, media companies, etc. the last thing you want is to get your personal and financial data to get pummeled.
1. Alternative payment methods:
By using PayPal, you have no personal/financial data in a store database which could be hacked. You can even add 2 factor authentication. Plastic: credit cards are more secure than debit cards since debit cards are drawn directly from your checking account. With credit cards you can reverse the purchase.
Gift cards: If they are MasterCard or Visa they are treated exactly like a credit card…but you may have to pay an activation fee ($5-$10)…and they can only be used with a card processor physically located in the US. Store specific cards (like BestBuy or Amazon)…they have expiration dates, so beware – they aren’t always on the card. They can also be frozen if you make too many purchases in too short a time.
2. Double layer account security:
Two factor authentication (when you enable it) is a good security measure. Let’s say you have 2FA, then when you make a purchase, Amazon will send you a code (on your phone), which has to be entered before the transaction can be completed. To use this, logon to your Amazon account and enable it and give your phone number. Google Authenticator you open the app and set it up…read the linked article for “How to”.
For tips on mobile device security and how to deal with lost devices, go here.