In the interest of Identity Theft here are a few things to consider when making an online purchase
What is Identity Theft? This is the term used when someone pretends to be somebody in order to steal money or benefits. Identity Theft is a worldwide issue. Millions of people worldwide have been a victim of identity theft regardless of race or color. According to a study done by Meridian Research, financial institutions will lose about $8 Billion to identity theft. The numbers of identity theft victims are growing every single day. It may sound a bit scary however; proper knowledge about identity theft will help you protect yourself.
We all love to shop and with today’s technology, shopping is at your finger tips. However, with the ongoing issue of identity theft, how can we protect ourselves from cyber criminals when we are purchasing online? Here are some few things to consider when you make your purchase online:
2. One of the safest ways to purchase items online is by using a Prepaid Gift Card or Debit Card with a very low balance in the bank account. Although the federal law does insure you a minimal amount with certain purchases, the law does not provide damage control and identity recovery services for you should your identity me stolen during the transaction. So when you shop online never pay with a check or cash, and avoid using your credit card as it could easily get “maxed out” in the hands of an online thief.
3. Always check if the internet connection is secure. Most web sites use Secure Socket Layers (SSL). It is a technology used to manage the security of a message transmission over the internet. Before adding your Credit Card information, check the site’s web address. If it begins with “https” instead of “http” then that site is using SSL technology. You can also look for a secure lock icon in most cases on located on the bottom of your internet browser.
4. Where can you raise any complaints when problems occur? The Federal Trade Commission is there to help. But before you get to that point, be cautious, let me rephrase that… be vigilant about protecting your identity. Avoid entering your real name and personal information in to untrusted websites. Monitor your credit report at least three times a year with AnnualCreditReport.com to make sure there are no inconsistencies, and if you don’t know, don’t click.
Protect yourself from identity theft. Be extra cautious when giving out personal information online. Be aware and only make transactions with trusted sites so you wont end up having to call banks, and credit card companies to dispute charges. If your identity is compromised, close or change the account(s) as soon as possible. Again, if you don’t know, don’t click.