These days, it's common to shop online. And while there are plenty of advantages to e-commerce, it's also wise to take steps to protect your identity.
Here are a few tips:
- Always review your order confirmations and credit card statements in a timely manner. Staying abreast of your statements can help you catch errors and unusual charges.
- Do not email your credit card information to individuals privately offering items for sale.
- Never make online financial transactions via websites or institutions with which you are not familiar. Many thieves set up fake sites to steal information from unsuspecting victims.
- Be especially skeptical of unsolicited emails — even those that appear to be from institutions you trust — asking you to follow particular links, respond with identifying information, or change passwords. Another common phishing practice is to set up websites that pose as the sites of trusted institutions in order to gather legitimate passwords from unsuspecting users.
- Be sure to log off completely from any website following an online transaction. Don't just close your browser: Find the link that logs you off.
- Make sure that websites where you're shopping are secured. Look for a secured symbol at the bottom of your browser (the symbol is most often displayed as a small padlock).
- Only provide your account information when the browser indicates an encrypted (scrambled) connection. An encrypted connection is normally indicated by an "https://" in your browser's address bar in front of the address of the page you are viewing.
The convenience of online shopping and banking is negated if your actions put your finances at risk. By following simple tips to bank online safely and protect your data in the cloud, you can help mitigate the identity theft risk. To take it a step further, contact a State Farm® agent today to talk about identity restoration insurance and make the recovery process easier, faster, and less expensive if your identity is stolen.