Insider Tips for Protecting Your Identity
By Richard Noguera, CISO, Gap Inc. / GapTech
At Gap Inc., we strive to keep the digital experience of our online and in-store customers safe and secure. But with so many bad actors out there looking to take advantage of other people, it’s important for all of us to be vigilant and careful when sharing any information online. Here are just a few simple tips I recommend keeping in mind to avoid common scams:
1) When you sign up for promotions, be careful to sign up for the one you intended. If a site asks you to also provide personal details like your home address and credit card information along with a code, double check that it’s the right promo.
2) Double check the website name while you are shopping. Make sure that when you check out, the website name doesn’t unexpectedly change. For example, if [site name].com changes to [site name]5117$$.co, it could mean someone is trying to steal your information. If you are unsure, try checking out in a separate browser entirely.
3) Normally, email is used to confirm your online purchases. However, if an email confirmation provides a link to reenter your payment credentials, abort! This is a common phishing scam. When in doubt, log into the site directly using a fresh browser window.
4) Always keep your devices in a safe space. Ideally, you should store them either at home or have them physically on you, and as a last resort, keep them out of sight in the trunk of your car.
5) Protect your passwords! We all have several passwords to keep track of, but it’s never safe to write them all down in an open space. Instead, consider passphrases (like gap jeans are awesome!) or invest in a password manager like Last Pass. Passphrases are typically easy to remember and password managers are an inexpensive way to manage all of your accounts.
6) Beware of social engineering attempts, like cons and conmen. Scammers prey on the trusting nature of others to get credit card details, bank info, and social security numbers. They do this to steal identities and commit fraud using information voluntarily provided. Be wary of any calls, emails, or texts needing your info RIGHT NOW. It’s usually a scam.
7) Practice good online hygiene. We all know the internet can be overwhelming, with the flood of emails and pop ups. Take care to regularly clear your cache, clean your inbox and periodically flush your cookies. These habits help protect you from malware and scams taking advantage of quick-click behaviors. It’s also good to keep up with all of the latest application updates.