Cyber security is becoming more important as technology advances. Here are five ways you can protect your data while shopping online.
Why is protecting your data important?
Your online data contains personal information like your name, banking information, address, email accounts, and sometimes even your SIN number. This information in the wrong hands can be difficult to recover and can lead to identity theft or major monetary loss.
5 ways to protect your data:
- Keep your computer up to date. Older versions of operating systems and antivirus software can be vulnerable to new threats as time goes on. Update regularly to avoid the risk of losing your data.
- Shop on reputable websites. Stick to well-known retailers or trusted businesses when you shop online. Shady sites may advertise better prices to draw you in. Remember if the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is! An easy way to check if a website is safe is to look for a lock symbol or “https” in the URL bar – this tells you the website is secure.
- Consider using a VPN service. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) protect your data by encrypting it as you surf the web. This makes it difficult for someone who’s watching to read your data. These are especially useful if you’re shopping online in public spaces like coffee shops or hotels.
- Consider using third party payment software. Third party payment software stores your credit card info in secure vaults and makes sure retailers never see your information. You can set maximum spending limits for purchases and automatically deny any unauthorized charge attempts.
- Check a third-party review site. If you are unsure about a business, check reviews on third party sites. This way you can get a better idea of how secure they are. Everyone has their own risk tolerance, so it is important to know who you are dealing with so you can do what you feel is best.
Looking for more information about cyber security?
Get Cyber Safe is a national public awareness campaign created to inform Canadians about cyber security and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online. Explore their website to learn how you can protect your personal information and stay safe online.
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About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.