November 30, 2021

Follow these tips for safe and secure online shopping

Written by: Raj Sharma Head of Information Security, VP, Northern Bank

With the holiday season approaching, most of us will be starting our online shopping. While it is super convenient, online shopping is also an opportunity for criminals to steal your personal information and money. The good news: By following some simple steps you can protect yourself from being a victim of fraud.

Before entering personal information on a website, make sure the site is legitimate and safe. A site that displays “https” is secure.

All too often, criminals create fake websites that look very legitimate. These fake sites display on search results when shopping for products and may lure you with prices well below competing sites. A simple Google search can reveal a lot of information about the site.

Use unique and complex passwords when shopping. It is also never a good idea to write your password on paper.

If you shop from a trusted website that offers goods sold through a third party, always investigate the seller’s reputation. Check out reviews about the seller and its policy for returns.

The holidays are a big time for fraudsters to make purchases using your information. You should make it a habit to check your credit card statements regularly and identify suspicious charges.

Watch-out for phishing emails and email scams. Phishing emails peak during the holiday season – criminals often impersonate a brand and send emails with fake offers. Always be wary of emails that have offers that are too good to be true. Do not click links or attachments on emails from parties that you do not recognize.

Apps on mobile devices are a convenient way to shop. However, ensure that the app that you are downloading is the merchant app and not a fake. You should always download apps from reliable sources such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Finally, never make purchases on free wi-fi or hotspots, those methods may not have the same level of security as a personal network.

Written by
Raj Sharma
Head of Information Security, VP, Northern Bank

Raj Sharma brings 19 years of Information Security experience in the banking industry to his role at Northern Bank. On the Northern Bank Team since 2018, Raj has played an integral part in building the Information Security function that is so critical to mitigating the ever changing security threat environment. He holds a Masters in Information Security and several industry recognized certifications such as CISSP (Certified Information Security Systems Professional) and CISM (Certified Information Security Manager). Raj is so interested in Information Security, he not only chose it as a career, he makes it his hobby and is constantly learning about new technologies.

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About Northern Bank & Trust Company

Northern Bank is a full-service bank dedicated to providing practical, common sense financial solutions to help our customers live their lives and grow their businesses. From deposit products to loans to payment and collections services, we work hands-on with our entrepreneurial customers, both locally and across the country, to provide the financial support they need to realize their personal and business goals. Founded in 1960, Northern Bank has assets of $2.87 billion with 13 locations serving communities throughout Middlesex County. Northern Bank is a Member of the FDIC, and an Equal Housing Lender.

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