Friday, November 27, 2020

Public Safety Alert, Protect Yourself During Online Shopping

Public Safety Alert,
Protect Yourself During Online Shopping

Broadcast time: 12:30 Date: Friday, November 27, 2020 Unit: Financial Crimes Phone: 416-808-7300 Case #: N/A

The holiday season is approaching and this year businesses are expecting an increase in online shopping. The Toronto Police Service would like to remind you to stay vigilant and provide you with the following information and best practices for a more secure online shopping experience this holiday season:

- always install antivirus updates for your devices as soon as updates are available,

- change your passwords for online shopping sites and other accounts regularly, using a different password for each system and account

- where possible, use two-factor authentication for an added layer of login security

- immediately change factory pre-set passwords on home networking equipment, such as Wi-Fi routers and smart devices

- for shopping online, credit cards are your most secure option; verify online transactions by checking your credit card and banking statements routinely and activate the alerts offered by your bank to receive email or text notifications for all account transactions

- do not use public Wi-Fi networks for online shopping or banking, even when a password in required

- phishing (luring using email) and smishing (luring via text message) are fraud schemes, which criminals use to elicit funds, obtain credit card data, personal information, or install malware on computers and electronic devices

- never respond to emails or text messages from unknown sources, and avoid opening attachments or clicking on links from senders you do not recognize

- reputable and established online businesses utilize encryption to protect personal identifiers and payment information transmitted to and from your computer or device, look for the lock icon next to a website address in your browser.

- always verify website addresses by manually typing them into your web browser, or access websites from internet searches

- when shopping from your phone, choose vetted apps from trusted businesses and download apps only from an authorized app store.

Remember, if the offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

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Constable Caroline de Kloet, Corporate Communications, for Detective Gail Regan, Financial Crimes

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