There are so many worthy causes that need support and donating to specific charities maybe be actively on your mind. How do you feel about donating online though?
I personally feel more inclined to donate to a physical person or organization rather than via a website or other online service. Remember when wireless phones were just getting popular? I was one of those that had to have the 2.4 GHz or whatever so I felt the line was secure enough to give a credit card number over the phone. I tend to have the same wariness of online transactions sometimes. That doesn’t have to be the case, though.
While ID theft is prevalent, there are ways of protecting yourself and lessening the chances of theft. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month and National Crime Prevention Month. The National Cyber Security Alliance has suggestions to help protect you while doing anything online, including making donations. Here are five key points I found most important to keep in mind:
- Make passwords long and strong: Combine capital and lowercase letters with numbers and symbols to create a more secure password.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in email, tweets, posts, and online advertising are often the way cybercriminals compromise your computer. If it looks suspicious, even if you know the source, it’s best to delete or if appropriate, mark as junk email.
- Get savvy about Wi‐Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct and adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your machine.
- Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the sites are security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
- Think before you act: Be wary of communications that implores you to act immediately, offers something that sounds too good to be true, or asks for personal information.
In addition to these, you can take advantage of online services to help in areas you might otherwise miss. LifeLock provides me with a monthly credit report and sends alerts if any suspicious activity takes place on my accounts. They also post a ton of tips on their Facebook and Twitter pages. It’s nice to know someone’s got my back, so to speak, when dealing with transactions online.
Don’t forget to enter the LifeLock for Life game regularly for weekly prizes. As a hint, this month’s questions will be related to online donating.
I am a LifeLock Brand Ambassador and am being compensated for my participation in the program. All opinions are 100% my own.