At RoseLake Estates, we encourage our homeowners and our community to be smart and proactive this holiday season — so you don’t get caught up in any kind of “phishing” net.

Here’s a few tips to stay safe online from the folks at RoseLake Estates manufactured homes:  

·      Shop at familiar online retailers. Sometimes scammers change the name of a familiar retailer name by just one or two letters. Verify before you shop.

·      Beware of making purchases after clicking on a link from a pop-up ad. 

·      Use security software. Make sure firewalls are always active.

·      Generally, sites using the “s” designation in “https” at the start of the URL will be secure sites. Look for the “lock” icon in the browser’s URL bar.

·      Avoid online shopping using unprotected Wi-Fi in public places. Unprotected public Wi-Fi hotspots may allow thieves to view your transactions.

·      Avoid phishing emails that may suggest a password is expiring or an account update is needed. The link you click may take you to a fake website that will steal usernames and passwords or can track your keystrokes. 

·      Use passwords that are strong, long and unique. Avoid using a specific word, especially one that’s easy to figure out, such as your pet’s name. Use a different password for each account.

·      Even though it may be a pain, use multi-factor authentication, such as a security code, usually sent as a text to a mobile phone, in addition to usernames and passwords.

·      When it’s time to get a new computer, phone or tablet, be careful of how you dispose of your old one. Make sure to wipe the hard drive of all information before trashing.

It only takes a few extra steps to protect your information from predators online. Besides spending untold hours on the phone with creditors after you are “hit”, it often takes a full year or more or get back your good name and re-establish credit. 

Shopping online can most certainly make holiday gifting quicker and easier. But it also makes it easier for cybercriminals to shop – for your credit card numbers, financial information, Social Security numbers, and other sensitive data that belongs to you!


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