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Identity Theft

  • Safer Shopping On The Internet Tips

    Every year more and more people are using the internet to do their shopping. It is a convenient way to shop without the hassle of driving to stores, finding a place to park, and put up with crowds.

    In years past, you had to worry about your cash or check book being stolen. Now with debit and credit cards becoming the usual way to pay, there is a security risk no matter where you shop. The internet, stores, and even banks are being hacked by criminals who are stealing identities and recently even money from people’s accounts.

    Since we are an internet only shop, I thought I would share some tips to make your internet shopping experience safer and more secure.

    There are numerous internet web sites opening every day and there are some simple clues to help you tell which sites are safer to shop on, old or new.

    If you are shopping on a desktop, or Laptop computer using a browser:

    There are a number of browsers you can use and each may show the following information a little different.  Here are a few that I use.

    The below screen shot is from our website on Internet Explorer 11:


    If you have your browser at full screen, you will see the complete website address. There are clues here to help tell you if you are on a safe site for shopping. Each time you go to a different page, even the same site, this address information will change.

    The first is “http://“ vs “https://” in the address bar at the top. http:// does not mean the site is unsafe to be on to read, but if you are going to enter information on a page, look for https://. It means that this page is encrypted. This makes it harder for someone to see the information as it travels across the internet. Unencrypted pages will show http:// and can be read by anyone that knows how to intercept traffic over the internet. So pay close attention if you are on a webpage that askes for personal information of any kind, including payment. The information is  encrypted if you see the https://.

    The second clue is the padlock on the right of the address bar. This shows that the site information is encrypted by a 3rd party certificate provider that certifies the site. You can click on this for information.

    The third clue is the safety dropdown list at the bottom of the screen shot. You can go into this tab for security information about the site.

    In this case there is a forth. We own Norton Internet Security and it shows on a bar in the screen shot. Norton has also certified this site as safe, as you can see in the middle of the screen shot. This requires website owners to verify their site before Norton will show it safe. We are not trying to sell this program, but since it shows on the screen shot, I thought I would explain it.

    The below screen shot is from the Fire Fox Browser:


    This browser shows the https:// and the lock at the left of the address bar.

    The below screen shot is from Google Chrome Browser:


    This browser shows the https:// and the lock at the left of the address bar. You should notice that I have gone to another page on the website; in this case home-protection.html. This part of the site address will change for each page you go to. On our site https:// is still on the address bar. This is not the case on all sites that have https:// on the main page. To keep your information safer, never give information on any page that shows http://; look for that s.

    If you are shopping on Android mobile with an internet browser:

    You should still see the https:// in the address bar and the Padlock should be there too. You just might not be able to click into the security information.

    If you are shopping on IPad, or IPhone mobile with an internet browser:

    You should still at least see the Padlock and at times the https:// in the address bar. You just might not be able to click into the security information.

    If you are using an app to shop:

    I can’t address that here other than to warn you that there are hundreds of new shopping apps being added weekly, some of which are fake and could steal your information. If you want to use an app for shopping, get your app from a reputable app store to be safer.

    Our mission here at www.ForSecuritySake.com is to help you be safer and more secure in your daily lives through products and information.

    Be Safe Out There!


    If you're reading this, chances are that you have at least one email account(s) and with those email account(s) comes spam and scams. But how do you know if the email you receive Is a scam?

    First of all, any time you get an email like this, don't open it if it looks fake. If you do open it, never click on a link or photo in the email. Always go out and contact your bank, or website account from their website. How do you know if it might be fake? Read below.

    Lets use an example that I received in August of 2015:

    This is one stupid crook example of a scam designed to get you to enter account information about a Chase Bank account.

    Here is a copy of the email as it shows up in many email readers. This one happens to be AOL.com (which has a really good spam filter), but it got through anyway; more on that later. Although this example is from AOL, it can be sent to any email account.

    Here is a screen shot of the email example as it shows up on a windows machine (I know I said don't do this, but click on the email image to see it larger) :

    Scams like this are designed to make your heart race a little and question what the heck could be wrong with the account? The scammer relies on the honest person to immediately want to correct the problem. But if you have experience at receiving these emails, you should know to take a moment to calm down and then you notice things about it.

    The first thing to look for is where it is from? If it isn't from the bank, which it should be, treat it as a scam. In this case it shows that it is from the "Update Team". But there is a "show details" button that you can click on to show the email address of the sender. This one shows it is from "Update Team ...ear30@gmail.com". That email address has nothing to do with Chase Bank and what does the update team have to do with an account review? Smarter scammers will use a sender name similar to the bank website address.  There could be an added "." to the bank (or other website name), or even a misspelled bank name. Study the from address for a few moments. If it is close to the real thing, you may not catch it with a quick look.

    Now for the way this got by the spam filter and what made this sender a stupid crook:

    Scam Email with random words

    Above is a screen shot of the email as it shows on an Android email reader (Click on the email image to see it larger - if you feel lucky that this article is not a scam). Some extra reading can be seen, because the Android email reader does not use windows coding.

    At the beginning of the email is a header of random words. This is designed to make the email look legitimate and get past scam filters (Not shown in the screen shot is the bottom of the email that has more random text). This is coded in a way that windows email readers will not show the text, but the spam filter will see it.

    This reader also shows the sender address without having to open anything.

    There you have it.

    This was just one stupid crook example of thousands of all kinds of different scams out there. Sign up for the www.ForSecuritySake.com newsletter at the bottom of any page and we will write about scams and other safety and security stories as we come across them.

    Be Safe Out There.








  • Attention Target Shoppers; Don't be a victim twice!

    ATT Target Shoppers

    It has been months since Target information was hacked, putting credit card information in the hands of criminals. Because of this breach and others like it at different businesses all over the country, scammers are still after your information via email and phone calls.

    As you have probably heard, there was a card data breach at Target stores in the US in late 2013. Financial institutions like Financial Center have been contacting their affected cardholders alerting them to the breach. Unfortunately, scammers have been contacting consumers, too, posing as Target and other institutions. At times, it can be difficult to tell a legitimate email from a fake one. Here are some tips for you to follow, to help ensure you don't fall victim to one of these scam emails:


    • If you get an email that is supposedly from Target, don't click on links within the email. Instead, you can go directly to the trusted website that the email is directing you to visit (such as the FTC and the national credit bureaus' websites).


    • This is a good practice to apply to all emails that you receive. Never provide your account or personal identifying information in an email. This is also a good tip to follow with phone calls (unless you initiated the phone call to a legitimate phone number).


    • Vary your password amongst your accounts; this way, if a scammer does gain access to one account, your other logins remain safe.


    • Monitor your accounts throughout the month and report any unknown transactions.


    • And don't forget to monitor your credit report, too. Consumers have access to free credit reports from each of the three national credit bureaus on an annual basis through AnnualCreditReport.com.


    Thanks to Financial Center Credit Union in Stockton, California for the alert.

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