Seven Tips For Safe iPad Shopping And Keeping Cyber Thieves Away

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By Judith Aparri | March 20, 2014 11:22 PM EST

Online OR iPad shopping is both fun and exciting way to learn while doing trendy things. But this might expose you to fraud and stealing as cyberspace also has its version of criminals who can do you harm as they are real criminals.

REUTERS/Rick Wilking
A Walmart employee (L) explains Apple iPad options to a customer at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas June 6, 2013.

Take heed of the tips below so you avoid credit card fraud or theft when doing any online transaction that requires payment using your iPad, according to ConsumerReports.org.

1.      Always get an update version of your OS and app

Do not skip on alert regarding available updates for your OS and apps. Updates are at times the manufacturers' way of fixing security flaws. If you do not update, you are exposing yourself and personal information to cyber thieves.

It's important. iOS 7.1 has been sent by Apple to fix many bug issues. Ensure you have already updated yours.

2.      Beware of scams

Get rid of emails from unfamiliar senders. Those who seem to be from a friend or reputable institution who ask you to go to links  to provide information or sign into an online account, these can be gestures of a hacker account. Better to delete such emails and free yourself from being hacked.

3.      Do not tinker with your iPad's OS

Do not experiment with your operating system. Others are doing so because they want to install some things which are not approved by Apple. But this can disable security protection originally designed to avoid malicious hackers and software to your iPad. Also, it is illegal and will make your warranty invalid.

4.      Make online transactions with secure Web sites only

Online shopping should only be done with secure commercial Web sites which links have "https." You can see that in the URL or in the address window. This means browsers and Web sites will hide the information that goes through them as a protection against online criminals.

5.      Never leave traces of your credit card number in stores

Leaving data traces, especially about your personal and financial information, allows anyone to break into your account online. Take as a lesson of what happened to the customers of Neiman Marcus and Target store.

Apple iTunes and Amazon allow you to remove credit card info in your file and only use them for each transaction made. Another way is to obtain credit card numbers for single or exclusive use of Citibank, Bank of America and other institutions.

6.      Protect your iPad

To protect your iPad in case this will be stolen or away from your sight, set a passcode lock, which should be at least eight alphanumeric characters. Limit the number of passcode attempts. Turn Auto-lock on, which locks the unit when inactive. For more safety, disable the Bluetooth when not in use. Strangers may hack you through the Bluetooth.

7.      Use a secure wireless connection

A sample secure wireless connection is when you are at home with an encrypted Wi-Fi. But when you go out to the coffee shop, airport or other public places, the connection cannot be assured to be secure. If your device has a 3G or 4G, use it instead of the Wi-Fi.

If your iPad is for Wi-Fi only, then find a place with a secure Wi-Fi such as those used by businesses to protect confidential information.

You can check several VPN apps as Hotspot Shield from the Apple Store. Since some of the products there are not fully tested for being effective, you may go for the ones with the most downloads and have high ratings on the App Store.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Rick Wilking / )
A Walmart employee (L) explains Apple iPad options to a customer at a Walmart Supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas June 6, 2013.
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