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Online shopping safety after Amazon breach

Posted at 10:28 PM, Nov 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-21 22:28:27-05

Millions of people will send or receive something through Amazon this holiday season.

So far the shopping season is off to a bad start for the shipping behemoth after a computer glitch caused customers names and emails to be exposed.

"Email, pursuant to Florida statute, is personal identification information,” said Charlotte County Corporal Paul Guyton.

Corporal Guyton is a certified fraud examiner for CCSO.  He says even if it's just email addresses that were exposed, your privacy could be at risk.

"What is known is preventable,  so if we know it's going to happen we can take measures to prevent it from happening."

Corporal Guyton says using a separate bank account, solely to make online purchases will make it easier to safeguard your personal information.

You can also shop with a pre-paid debit card or a credit card.

But even those safety tips aren’t fool proof.

"I had to freeze my credit because someone stole my identity and bought three phones in my name,” said Chris Smith, whose visiting Southwest Florida from Massachusetts.

Smith and his wife always use credit cards for online purchases.  

The couple says companies like Amazon should take a more proactive approach to protecting their customers.

"As the  consumer, we are the ones who have to clean up after any breach like that we are the ones who have to change our passwords and track all of our credit card statements,” said Julie Smith.

Amazon is a publicly traded company on the stock exchange, so it could face sanctions from the Securities Exchange Commission if it determines Amazon was negligent in handling customers personal information.