Court Little | June 19, 2012
Instead of the usual Top 5 security tips, such as “use a strong password,” let's list and review what you should be doing, but probably are not.
Tip #1:Mnemonic Passwords
Tip #2: Shop Smart
Online holiday shopping hit a record $37.2 billion dollars last year. There are a few simple things you can do to minimize the risk of getting your credit card stolenANYtime you shop online.
a.) Don't use a credit card if you don't have to.PayPal is a great way to shop to avoid "trusting" them with your credit card. Most merchants accept PayPal, and if they don’t, odds are their competitor does. Paying a few dollars more for an item rather than give bobsusedboltshop.com your credit card is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
b.) If you can't use PayPal, use a credit card, but never a bank debit card. When you use a credit card, you’re automatically protected from fraudulent charges. However, if your debit card is hacked, cash is drawn from your personal account not credit from the credit card company. The cash recovery process can take months. Some people who shop a lot online have even taken to having a special credit card they use for online purchases only. It makes reviewing your statement for fraudulent charges much easier and ensures if your card is stolen it's only one card and not 5 different ones.
c.) Many banks like Citibank, Discover and Bank of America offer one time use credit cards so if the site is compromised, you don’t lose your real credit card number. If you can get it, the extra sixty seconds it takes to generate a number is well worth the hours you will spend canceling and setting up new cards.
TIP #3: Secure Your Gmail
You have to register your email with Internet commerce websites. If you use the same password for your email that you do everywhere else, you will have to reset your email password if one of those sites get compromised. The good news is that Gmail has launched an insanely cool two-step verification system for Google accounts that uses text messages or your voicemail to send you a second verification code. It supports one-time passwords for specific apps like iPads and NAS boxes that need to remember the password. If you’re not going to set up this feature, at least use a mnemonic password.
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