Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box
Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - Almanac Vol. 59, No. 14
Protecting Your Finances
During This Year's Holiday Shopping Season
Growth of online purchases continues to outpace sales at traditional "brick and mortar" outlets. In fact, by 2020, it's estimated that nearly $500 billion of merchandise will be purchased online. Regardless of how you choose to shop this holiday season, being vigilant and following a few simple precautions can help protect your finances:
A final caution in these times of heightened credit awareness: under Federal law, you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies per year. For the report to be truly free, without qualification, you must visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com/ which is the official provider of free credit reports authorized by the Federal Trade Commission.
- When shopping online, check for HTTPS:// or a locked padlock to give you the assurance that you're using a "secure server" site.
- When shopping offline, watch to see if credit cards are taken away from the counter and/or out of your sight when your purchases are being authorized. If you can't see your card or the clerk, you don't know if your card information is being written down surreptitiously.
- Use credit cards instead of debit cards. The maximum liability for unauthorized charges on a credit card is $50. The liability for unauthorized use of a debit card can drain your bank account immediately which can lead to bounced checks or missed payments. In addition, liability for unauthorized debit card purchases can be much higher than the $50 max on credit cards, depending upon when you report the loss.
- Use credit cards instead of writing checks. Checks can easily be altered to change the payee and amount. If you do find yourself writing checks, use a pen with pigment-based rather than water-based ink, and either write the payee name yourself or ask that the store stamp be applied in your presence.