Shopping Online Securely
Shopping Online Securely

Submitted by q2tech on April 11, 2019

Shopping online is great fun. It’s easy, convenient and you can often find great deals. But shopping online does carry some risk – the risk of getting hacked. If you are vigilant about a few things, however, you can shop online with more security.

Most online stores require you to set up an account profile. This will involve creating some security measures, such as security questions and assigning an account password. While this is important for your cyber security, it is only the beginning of safe cyber practices.

You may think that security questions alone will protect your data, right?

  • In a study, security researchers at Google found that with a single guess, an attacker would have a 19.7 percent chance of duplicating an English-speaking user’s answer to the question “What is your favorite food?” (It was pizza.)
  • With 10 tries, an attacker would have a 39 percent chance of guessing a Korean-speaking user’s answer to the question “What is your city of birth?” and a 43 percent chance of guessing the favorite food.
  • If you're required to answer security questions, lie and jot down your fake answers in pen or paper. (Q. "Where were you born?" A. Kentucky Fried Chicken. Q. "What was your first pet’s name?" A. Peach.)

Your passwords keep everything secure … to a point.

The Facts:

  • Experts believe hackers with the right machine can hack a weak password in 5 seconds.
  • Retail was the most-targeted industry for phishing attacks in the first quarter of 2016 by more than a two-to-one margin over any other industry. (Source)
  • The minimum password length experts now recommend to avoid being compromised by brute-force cracking is 13
  • These five user passwords accounted for 3.2 million of the 130 million accounts that were stolen in the Adobe hack of 2013: “123456,” “12345678,” “Password,” “Adobe123” and “12345678.” (source)

Here are some password tips for helping you create a strong password:

  • Use a minimum password length of 8 or more characters if permitted. The longer the better.
  • Include lowercase and uppercase alphabetic characters, numbers and symbols if permitted.
  • Generate passwords randomly where feasible. Try one of these online random password generators:
    https://www.random.org/passwords/
    https://passwordsgenerator.net/

Here are a few more things you can do to prevent thieves from getting to your information:

  • Have different passwords for bank, email, and e-commerce accounts
  • Change your passwords frequently
  • Turn on two-factor authentication, whenever possible
  • Keep your operating software up-to-date
  • Vigilantly monitor your bank accounts and credit report