“When you get down to it, it’s the potential exposure of financial information and identity theft that’s on everyone’s minds this time of year,” said JR Smith, CEO of AVG Technologies. “If you have security software on your computer or mobile device it’s relatively safe to shop online this holiday season, especially if you transact predominantly with big-brand retailers. However, there are numerous very straightforward things you can do to protect your transactions as well as secure your identity and credit card information while shopping online.”
AVG offers consumers the following tips to demystify the practice of secure online shopping:
- Use only one card for all online purchases. Ensure it’s one with a very low monthly balance of $500 or less and that has fraud protection. In addition, also monitor your statements on a regular basis, monthly at a minimum.
- Avoid making purchases or transmitting info over public Wi-Fi networks, as they can offer hackers easy access to data
- Equip mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones with access passwords and remote locking or wiping capabilities in the event they are lost or stolen
- Shop only from trusted brand-name merchants who use SSL protocol
- Install a simple-to-use, 100% free but highly effective security solution.
On average a victim of identity theft spends 330 hours (or 41 eight hour working days) resolving the problem.