With holiday season spending now in full swing, the Winnipeg Police Service has issued several tips to help secure your online shopping safety:
• Verify website security: Officials say a site’s URL (uniform resource locator) is one way to know if the site is secure. A secure site starts with "https://" rather than "http://". A secure site will also have a small lock icon in the lower-right corner of the screen.
• Choose credit over debit: Credit cards offer protection from identity theft. If you’re using your debit card and an individual gains access to your information, they have the potential to empty your account before you know there’s a problem.
• Disposable is better: Even better than using your regular credit card is a disposable credit card, officials say, which works like most cards, where you can add a specific dollar amount to it.
• Don’t shop on public computers: Using a public computer means you have no control over who else might be using it or if there is spyware or malware that could be infecting it. Individuals are advised to shop on their home computers.
• Don’t store information elsewhere: Many shopping sites give you the option of saving your credit card details on their servers to speed up the shopping process. If the company you’re shopping with has a data breach, the security of your personal information may be put at risk.