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The holiday shopping season is upon us, and many of us are searching our favorite web pages for the best deals on the items that top this year’s wish list.  Last year, cyber Monday was the year’s single biggest day for shopping, generating over 2 billion dollars in sales.  This year, consumer experts predict an even bigger day.  However, this online activity is also a big day for cyber criminals.

Holiday Cyber Safety Tips

  • Use a credit card rather than a debit card.  It is easier to resolve issues.
  • Make sure your computer has updated security software.  Verify that your antivirus software is up-to-date with the latest virus definitions, and that useful features like real-time scanning are enabled.
  • Update your passwords and make sure they are strong.  Do not use 1234 as your password.
  • Do not open email advertisements for sources you do not know.
  • Use only familiar websites.
  • Check you statements to make sure charges are correct.
  • Always log out of websites after your shopping is complete.  Cookies can often keep you logged into accounts even after you close the browsing tab--an obvious no-no.  Get in the habit of clicking the "log out" button.
  • Try not to do your online banking on the same computer you use to shop online.
  • An extremely important online shopping safety tip is to keep your personal information protected.  No retailer needs your social security number or your birthday.
  • The National Retail Federation predicts that 25 percent of adults will do online browsing with their smartphones to find gifts.  If you use your smart phone to shop, make sure that you are only browsing safe, well-known sites.

 
What is Homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance provides financial protection against disasters. A standard policy insures the home itself and the things you keep in it.

Homeowners insurance is a package policy. This means that it covers both damage to your property and your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries and property damage you or members of your family cause to other people. This includes damage caused by household pets.

Damage caused by most disasters is covered but there are exceptions. The most significant are damage caused by floods, earthquakes and poor maintenance. You must buy two separate policies for flood and earthquake coverage. Maintenance-related problems are the homeowners' responsibility.

Sources – Protection one, CNET, Identity Hawk.com, and Tripwire. 

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