Whether you’re starting your holiday shopping early, or waiting for the last minute, you’re most likely doing a lot (maybe all) of your gift buying online. Online shopping allows us to avoid the crowds, traffic and often less-than-spirited experience of the mall and, instead, shop from the comfort of our couch. What could be better?
Before you settle in and get your credit card ready, there are several precautions you should be aware of when shopping online, starting with avoiding cybercriminals. The holidays mean increased traffic online, making it prime time for scammers to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. Consider the following online shopping safety tips from staysafeonline.org:
Do your homework:
Using a new site to shop from? Read some consumer reviews first to see what kind of ratings the site has gotten.
Think before opening links:
A common way for cybercriminals to steal your information or infect your device is to send phony links in posts, texts and emails. If you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open the link.
Watch what you’re filling out:
If it seems like a site is asking for way more information than necessary to make a purchase, you may want to move on to another site. Only fill out fields that are required.
Look for secure sites:
Check to make sure the web address begins with https://, which means the site is security enabled to protect your information. Such addresses are usually preceded by the small lock symbol.
Avoid WiFi hotspots:
Public WiFi connections are just that…public. Try to avoid using them, especially for accessing email and banking information. Also, adjust the security settings on your phone to limit who can access it.
Shake up your passwords:
While it may be convenient to use the same username and password across the board, it’s much safer to have a unique password for each unique account. Make sure your passwords for your most critical accounts are the toughest to hack.
By heeding these simple security tips, you can start attacking that holiday gift list with gusto…and peace of mind.
Source: StaySafeOnline.org – National Cyber Security Alliance
Contact our office today for more online shopping safety tips.
Published with permission from RISMedia.