Internet Shopping Security for Court Reporters

Court Reporters and Internet Shopping

Hearings and depositions often cancel at the last minute, or they run longer than planned.  Hearings and depositions also schedule with little notice.  One of a court reporter’s greatest characteristics is flexibility, but this flexibility is often challenged during the holidays, when social gatherings, school events, and Christmas shopping are added to the mix.  Many court reporters use their early mornings and late nights to shop online, so today, we offer tips on Internet shopping security for court reporters.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

While it is tempting to Christmas shop during a deposition lunch break, public Wi-Fi is exactly that: public.  LifeLock reminds its users that public Wi-Fi allows bad actors to grab your name and credit card information.  Bottom line: To maintain Internet shopping security, court reporters should avoid public Wi-Fi when shopping and use deposition lunch breaks to enjoy lunch!

Research Potential Retailers

A new website offers your heart’s desire at a deeply discounted price.   Should cost be the deciding factor?  Not necessarily.  Less-than-reputable retailers often collect your personal information without delivering the merchandise.   Shipping costs and return policies may mean that the item is expensive and permanent.  The National Cyber Security Alliance reminds all shoppers to research new websites and to read reviews before clicking “purchase.”   Bottom line:  To maintain Internet shopping security, court reporters should research potential retailers and their terms and conditions of sales.

Protect Privacy

Busy court reporters deal with a high volume of professional emails and phone calls.  So before making a purchase online, it is important understand how a website intends to use your information.   If the retailer’s privacy policy is not clearly stated, it may mean that your contact information is shared with third parties, opening the door to spam or telemarketing.  Bottom Line:  To maintain Internet shopping security, court reporters should protect privacy by understanding retailers’ privacy policies.

Pay By Credit Card

Many people prefer to shop using a debit card, and that strategy is not without merit.  Using a debit card limits spending to the amount in the associated account.  It’s also a good way to avoid Christmas debt.   However, paying by credit card offers much more protection.  The Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) protects your transactions when you use a credit card to shop online.  According to the Federal Trade Commission, the FCBA allow you to “…dispute charges under certain circumstances and temporarily withhold payment while the creditor investigates them.” And if someone uses your credit card fraudulently, the FCBA limits your liability to the first $50 in charges.  Bottom line:  To maintain Internet shopping security, court reporters should pay by credit card to utilize the benefits of the FCBA.

Change Passwords Regularly

Finally, it’s important to regularly change your passwords.  We know it’s a hassle, but it is recommended that you change your passwords every three to six months to keep thieves from repeatedly hacking into your accounts.  Additionally, you should avoid using the same password across multiple accounts.  Using different passwords makes each account less vulnerable in the event of a hack.  Bottom Line:  To maintain Internet shopping security, court reporters should change passwords regularly to protect accounts.

CompuScripts’ president, Deborah Dusseljee, understands the challenges faced by court reporters during the holidays because she is a court reporter!  CompuScripts is always looking for new reporters to join our team.  If you are a professional in the conference room and an expert at securing the verbatim record, contact CompuScripts Court Reporting and Legal Videography today.