5 Ways to Have Yourself a Safe and Secure Little Online Shopping Season

marksarriaTechnology Trends


Shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday brings out all the cybercriminals. Here are a few tips to help protect you while shopping online.

When looking for gifts for grandma or that must have game many shoppers will take to the Internet this holiday system. With the introduction of the new “EMV” credit cards shoppers can expect longer lines due to the longer transactions. Retail industry experts say this new longer process may drive many to do most of their shopping online. According to the NRF ( NRF.com) retailers are making significant investments in technology to better protect customers from fraud and data theft. Which leaves those who choose to shop online to fend for themselves.

Here are 5 thing you should know about data security to protect you and your family this holiday season.

1. Stop. Think. Connect. Make sure security measures are in place, understand the consequences of your actions and behaviors and enjoy the benefits of the Internet
2. Keep a Clean Machine: All the devices you use for shopping – including smartphones and tablets – should have up-to-date software including security software, operating systems, programs and apps
3. Get Savvy about Wi-Fi Hotspots: Don’t share personal or financial information over an unsecured network (a connection that doesn’t require a password for access). Using the direct web access on your phone (via a 3G/4G connection) is safer than an unsecured wireless network when on your mobile device.
4. Make Sure the Site is Legitimate: This includes a closed padlock on your web browser’s address bar or a URL address that begins with https. This indicates that the purchase is encrypted or secured. For new sites, check online reviews.
5. Secure Your Network: Along with securing your computer your network should also be secure. Your personal data is transmitted on the network. Securing your network adds another layer of security that will prevent cyber criminals from going after your data.

Shopping online is convenient, can save you a ton of time and offers a number of ways to save money. In today’s cyber environment an ISP provided router and computer antivirus is far from a resilient security strategy. Hackers are using sophisticated methods to scam consumers by posing as legitimate sources like eBay or Amazon, and Google sites that cybercriminals successfully entice unsuspecting victims an alarming rate. Some of the greatest security risk fly under the radar.

In closing it is your responsibility to protect yourself. If you’re not sure how best protect yourself seek the help of professionals. There are many free software you can download and install to help you setup a fortress. Just remember a security strategy is best implemented in layers. If you are not sure where you stand today with your security. I encourage you to take our Internet Security test. It takes about 30 seconds and will test all your vulnerabilities. Know what gaps you have is the first step in securing your network.

About the Author

Mark Sarria


An energetic and experienced executive who has been in the center of numerous successful ventures. Entrepreneur and founder of CheckupTech a technology systems solutions company that focuses on HIPAA compliance, data security and designing hyper-converged infrastructure. Being creative, honest and relentless have punctuated his career in IT.