Holiday Security

Posted by Samantha Dutcher on Dec 8, 2010 3:51:00 PM

The holiday season is here, and with it comes security and safety lapses. You’ll see many common sense tips out in the news right  now to ensure your safety. Keep them in mind to prevent theft and burglaries from marring your holidays.

Some excellent home security tips to consider are:

  • When you buy new appliances, like televisions, stereos, or computers, be sure to hide or destroy the boxes. New valuables are an invitation to a burglar's already distorted senses.
  • Burglars hate light. You should replace outside perimeter lighting with motion activated lamps. These are very inexpensive these days and readily available at most hardware and electronic stores. The protection they will provide, coupled with the convenience of having a well lit area to come home to, make them a must have.
  • Don't leave a purse, wallet, or laptop on counters that can be seen from a window. This will almost always trigger a forced entry.

For more home security tips visit http://ezinearticles.com/?Holiday-Security-Tips&id=96965

Holiday security doesn’t stop at home. The Minneapolis Police Department has some great tips for holiday shopping security.

Credit Cards: Credit cards are as good as cash and clerks rarely check identification. Most credit card companies hold the owner responsible for all purchases until the card is reported lost. To prevent credit card loss:

  •  Keep your cards in a safe place.
  •  Report any card losses immediately.
  •  Take only the cards you need for shopping.
  •  Check your credit card transactions for accuracy.
  •  Keep a record of all your credit cards and phone numbers of  the credit card companies to call if they are lost or stolen.

Transporting gifts in your car: Gifts left unattended on the back seat of your car can be tempting to a thief.

  • Always lock your car.
  • Pick up major items at the end rather than the beginning of your shopping trip.
  • Lock all purchases in the trunk of your car.
  • Immediately remove all purchases from your car when you return home.
  • Consider a locker at the shopping center.

Holiday Scams: Know your charities and retailers.

  • Fake charities: if you’re asked for a donation, verify the legitimacy before giving.
  • Gift Cards: Only purchase gift cards from trusted retail outlets. Make sure gift cards have not been tampered with before buying them.
  • Scam emails and online shopping: Shop only at trusted retail websites. Do not respond to unsolicited emails or click on links in them.

For the full article, click here. http://site.folwell.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/hsholidy.pdf

Many shoppers are now choosing to do much of their holiday shopping online, but this doesn’t eliminate the need for security! Rutgers Office of Information Technology has some helpful hints to help you stay secure online.

  • Secure your computer. Make sure your computer has the latest security updates installed. Check that your anti-virus and anti-spyware software are running properly and are receiving automatic updates from the vendor. If you haven’t already done so, install a firewall before you begin your online shopping. Upgrade your browser.
  • Upgrade your Internet browser to the most recent version available. Review the browser’s security settings. Apply the highest level of security available that still gives you the functionality you need.
  • Secure your transactions. Look for the "lock" icon on the browser's status bar and be sure “https” appears in the website’s address bar before making an online purchase. The "s" stands for "secure” and indicates that the communication with the webpage is encrypted. Also look for a broken key symbol indicating a non-secure connection. Some browsers can be set to warn the user if they are submitting information that is not encrypted.
  • Do not e-mail sensitive data. Never e-mail credit card or other financial/sensitive information. E-mail is like sending a postcard and other people have the potential to read it. Beware of emails requesting account or purchase information. Delete these emails. Legitimate businesses don’t solicit information through email.
  • Do not use public computers or public wireless to conduct transactions. Don’t use public computers or public wireless connections for your online shopping. Public computers could potentially contain malicious software that steals your credit card information when you place your order. Criminals could be monitoring public wireless networks for credit card numbers and other confidential information.
  • Make payments securely. Pay by credit card rather than debit card. Credit/charge card transactions are protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Cardholders are typically only liable for the first $50 in unauthorized charges. If online criminals obtain your debit card information they have the potential to empty your bank account.
  • Use temporary account authorizations. Some credit card companies offer virtual or temporary credit card numbers. This service gives you a temporary account number for online transactions. These numbers are issued for a short period of time and cannot be used after that period.

If you have problems shopping online, contact the seller or site operator directly. If those attempts are not successful, you may wish to contact the following entities:

• the Attorney General's office in your state (www.naag.org)
• your county or state consumer protection agency.
• the Better Business Bureau at: www.bbb.org
• the Federal Trade Commission at: www.ftc.gov

To view the full article go to http://rusecure.rutgers.edu/content/monthly-cyber-tips-newsletter-november-2010-online-holiday-shopping-security-tips Hopefully these tips will help you have a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Tags: preventions, Security, safety tips, online security, holiday