When shopping online, always check out as a guest.
The reason why is obvious — it keeps your personal data off the company’s website, which in turn keeps you safe in the event of a hack.
But for the sake of convenience, many people still choose to create accounts with the retailers they use most, leaving their names, addresses and credit card information vulnerable.
CNET’s Dan Graziano recommends against making password-protected profiles with online stores. One reason is because it isn’t always easy to remember passwords (unless you write them down, which also isn’t a good idea; if you do it anyway, be sure to store them in a locked box). But the main reason is because data breaches, which are becoming more and more common, can expose your personal information to the world.
If you absolutely must create a password, Graziano says it’s best to:
- Make a new one: That is, don’t use the same password for every website and service.
- Make a strong one: Throw in random symbols, spaces and capital letters.
- Make a verified one: If two-step verification is offered, use it — it adds an extra layer of security.