Be careful shopping on-line....it's Christmas in July for cyber-crooks

More people are staying home these days due to the pandemic and more are shopping from.home. Estimates indicate that online shopping is up as much as 70 percent.

While most may think they're protecting their health by shopping online instead of going out, are they protecting their financial health in terms of identity theft?

Cyber Security Expert Kevin Campbell who is CEO of Syniti says it may be time for a refresher course on online security.

"While we're home shopping the bad guys are home phishing and trying to get into your computer," Campbell told me. "I do think people need to be reminded of the fundamentals of online shopping."

First, he says remember your password is your protector.

"In the perfect world you would use different passwords for all of your online shopping but certainly use a different password than what you do for your banking than for your online shopping."

He says on the chance a password is stolen from a shopping site you don't want someone to be able to use it to get into your bank account.

Second, he says always use two factor authentication on any website that offers it. "It's basically a double check that it's really you signing in," he told me.

The two step authentication normally includes have a code sent to your phone or email that you plug in before you can go to the online account.

Thirdly, Campbell says monitoring email is crucial and don't get lax about the dreaded "links" that many of us have worried about over the years. He says simply "Never click on a link in an email unless you check that it's actually from who you think it is."

He says you can check to make sure that the sender's email address is truly what it claims to be in the message in the email. If it's not and if the email has asked you to click on a link the body of the email, it's definitely best not to do it.

Photo: Getty Image

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