Online Security

November 9, 2008 5:13:04 AM PST
As we approach the holiday season, thousands in our area will turn to the internet for some quick shopping...but there are some things you should know before you start clicking away.Joining us this morning with advice is Michael Barrett, the Chief Information security officer for Paypal

Is it safe for consumers to shop online?

  • We're coming up on the busiest shopping season of the year. Last year, consumers spent more than $28 billion during the holiday shopping season.
  • Unfortunately, the holiday season is also the busiest time for fraudsters and identity thieves.
  • The Internet can be a safe and easy way to find what you're looking for - as long as you follow a few simple rules.

    Passwords are a key area where consumers make mistakes. Do you have any suggestions for safe passwords?

  • Using an obvious password like "password" or the name or birthday of a family member is a very common mistake.
  • Use a strong password which includes a combination of upper and lowercase letters and numbers.
  • Don't use the same password at multiple websites, and change your password often.

    People receive a lot of emails each day and most of them look legitimate. What should they do to avoid being scammed?

  • Protect your computer
  • Don't click on links
  • Use common sense. If you weren't expecting an email from your bank based on a recent call you made to customer service, or a recent service you signed up for, then use caution. Banks and companies like PayPal will not email you and ask you for sensitive personal or financial information.

    What else should viewers know?

  • If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Be alert this holiday season. It's a great time to fine good deals online -- just use good judgment and be safe.

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