It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The lights are up, the music is merry and all that’s left is to pick out presents for your loved ones. Unfortunately, gift shopping can mean braving bad weather and busy parking lots, long lines and tight schedules – all while trying to find that perfect (hopefully not sold out) item.
If you prefer to shop in the comfort of home, we certainly don’t blame you. We would, however, like to make sure you do so safely. Incorporate these easy tips into your online shopping this year – and it’s safe to say you’ll be done in no time!
6 Tips for Safe Online Shopping
- Update, update, update: Make sure your device’s operating system and all your mobile apps are up-to-date. Updates are often frequently issued with security patches to guard against the latest cybersecurity risks.
- If it’s too good to be true… You’re probably receiving a lot of email promotions right now. Take an extra careful look at any email deals that seem too good to be true – and don’t hesitate to investigate the company further or call into their customer service if you’re unsure about the offer. Email phishing scams are not worth the savings.
Pro Tip: Read more on how to send safe money transfers over email for the ultimate easy gift idea this year!
- Surf responsibly: Whenever possible, shop online using trustworthy, password-protected Wi-Fi networks. If you are out in public, and have a mobile device with data, use your data connection instead of an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection in a mall or coffee shop. The reality is: if the Wi-Fi is freely open to you, it is also open to hackers.
- Look for the HTTPS: When you’re ready to purchase, always ensure that the checkout process is secure and encrypted connection – it should be obvious by the “https” in the page URL and a small lock symbol in the address bar.
- Use online security tools: A free password manager that works on both PCs and mobile devices can be a great tool to help you keep your online shopping accounts safe. You can protect your credit card information best with a strong and unique password for each account – and you will only have to remember the one Master Password that unlocks your encrypted password manager. It’s a holiday shopping miracle!
- Don’t ignore the evidence: Although it might be easier to avoid checking your bank balance this time of year, review your bank statements regularly over the holidays for irregular or unauthorized charges. Dedicate a credit card to your online shopping trips that has a low limit and fraud protection so you’ll be covered in case your accounts are compromised or used without your knowledge.
Most of all, enjoy…
We wish you all a happy, healthy & safe holiday season this year!