national consumer protection weekNational Consumer Protection Week

Today, we can send data from one end of the world to the other in a matter of seconds, and use pictures, video, sound, and text to share our real lives, our identitites. Personal stories go public; local issues become global. This excessive social contact can cause detrimental damages in the lives of everday shoppers. From using a savings card at your local grocery store to exploring a social networking app on your phone, many everyday activities allow businesses access to information about your habits, tastes and activities. But where does that information go and how is it used?


Ever heard of "Public Wifi"? 

These are Wi-Fi hotspots -- like the ones in coffee shops, airports, and hotels. They are a convenient way to reach the internet, but they often aren't secure. Use these tips to help protect your personal information. To protect your data when using wireless hotspots, only send your data to sites that are fully encrypted. Also, avoid using mobile apps that require personal or financial information on public wi-fi. 


Don't assume a Wi-Fi Hotspot is secure, most don't encrypt the information and aren't secure. In fact, if a network doesn't require a WPA or WPA2 password, it's probably not secure.


What happens if you get hijacked?

An imposter could use your account to impersonate you and scam people from your contact lists. Also, this hacker could attempt to use your username and password to try to gain access to sites that store your financial information.  


Love Online Shopping?

Whether you’re looking for a hotel or searching for a new pair of shoes you probably turn to the internet for customer reviews from “five stars”, “likes”, “thumbs ups”, or “must buys” – a positive opinion could impact your decision to buy it or try it. While blogs, websites, and social networks are great resources – you may not be getting the whole story.

Online Shopping can be another source for criminals to obtain your data. The law says that reviewers should disclose their connection to a company but not all of them do. The following video encourages people to learn as much as they can. Before you consider buying any item based on a recommendation or review, search online for more information and credible sources. Then, compare reviews from a variety of websites.

The information contained in this article was provided by the Federal Trade Commission Website.