Kenneth Van Wyk: 'Tis the season to shop with care
With online holiday shopping on the rise, and mobile-device shopping coming into its own, the need to be aware of the necessary security precautions has grown
Computerworld - With online holiday shopping on the rise, and mobile-device shopping coming into its own, the need to be aware of the necessary security precautions has grown.
With the 2012 holiday shopping season well under way, it's already evident that online shopping is on a record-setting pace this year, and mobile devices have had a huge impact. Every year, people have questions about the sorts of security precautions they should take when shopping online, and there will probably be even more questions now that mobile has entered the picture in a big way.
That's good; people need to be conscious of the need to take certain precautions online, just as they are aware that they shouldn't go into a physical shopping mall with hundred-dollar bills sticking out of their pockets and handbags. Personally, my awareness is heightened because I've had two credit cards defrauded this year. Did that happen as a result of my online or my on-site payment activity? I suspect that it was on-site, but I'll never know for sure. In any event, I hope my misfortune can help you avoid something similar.
Here are some pointers.
* Always opt for the payment method that's safest. Many sites these days support PayPal, Google or other payment services. When they do, use them and minimize the number of merchants that have access to your more sensitive payment details.
* Keep a secure log of all the sites on which you divulge your payment information.
* When given the choice, opt to not store your payment information with the vendor. It will be a bit of a hassle to have to re-enter your payment information every time you go back to buy something on that same site, but it's nothing compared to the hassle of having your payment card information stolen. Try to minimize your payment footprint.
* If you register with an online vendor, use a strong and unique password -- not one that you've already used on other sites. A lot of people will probably skip right over this bit of advice on the grounds that they think it isn't feasible to use a different password for every site. Don't be one of those people. To help with this, you have at least two options: either keep a secure log, on paper, of your usernames and passwords for each site, or use a password vault application to do that for you. I've been using such an app for years. It's easy to manage, and I am confident that my passwords for sites that have my payment information won't be easily cracked.
More by Kenneth van Wyk
- Kenneth van Wyk: Apple's big fail
- Kenneth van Wyk: After Snowden
- Kenneth van Wyk: Target breach underscores how backward U.S. payment tech is
- Kenneth van Wyk: Enjoy your trip, but protect the data you take with you
- Kenneth van Wyk: Lingering faults with security by default
- Kenneth van Wyk: High hopes for iPhone's Touch ID
- Kenneth van Wyk: Why mobile apps beat Web apps for privacy
- Bug bounties: Bad dog! Have a treat!
- How to avoid Big Brother's gaze
- The true root causes of software security failures
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts