How to stay safe online

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Fraud isn’t something you ever think is going to happen to you. Most of us know to ignore e-mail chain letters, or phone calls promising a cruise (if something seems too good to be true, it usually is), but fraud is on the rise in Atlantic Canada and fraudsters are finding new ways to capture personal and financial information online. So, how do we continue to shop, browse, email and do our online banking safely?

Below are a few helpful suggestions to protect yourself online.

1.     Watch your Wi-Fi.

Public Wi-Fi is convenient when you’re on-the-go, but save your online banking for at home. Since you’re using an open network, it’s easier for hackers to intercept your information. If possible, don’t input your credit card number, or any personal info when you’re using an unsecure public network.

2.     Examine the website.

Spotting a killer deal for a product you really want makes it easy to open your wallet without thinking. But scammers are creating fake sites for high demand products, jewelry and clothing that might look legitimate at first glance. Stay safe by being skeptical of heavily discounted items and by taking a closer look at the URL. If the web address seems strange, doesn’t include the brand or company name, or incorrectly spells the brand name, the site is likely a fake.

3.     Shop local.

When you’re familiar with a businesss, you’re less likely to be duped by a phony website—not to mention there’s always the option of picking up the phone and calling that business if something doesn’t look right. Most importantly, when you shop local online, you’re supporting a small business in your community—and that’s always something to feel good about.