Online shopping is becoming a more popular option as people find out they can avoid high shipping costs, use promo codes for discounts and much more. This is especially true during the Christmas season while many sites online offer very special deals.
How often do you shop online? There are some great tips to help you stay safe when shopping online, and while nothing is going to completely eliminate threats that are out there, you can still be more confident as you check out those special deals only found with online outlets.
One way you can steer clear of possible threats out there is to not deal with unfamiliar websites that you see. Even if there is a very enticing deal, you might want to steer clear. Of course, you can check out websites and unfamiliar businesses with the Better Business Bureau and other outlets if you want. Still, you should be able to find great deals when you are looking at familiar businesses.
When you’re getting ready to checkout with a company online, do you make sure that the website is using SSL encryption? The only thing you have to do to be sure that this is the case is to keep an eye out for the image of the lock that shows up in the top left-hand corner of the browser. If a company hasn’t made this available to consumers, then they aren’t worth another second of your time.
Have you ever purchased something from a website that seemed to want to know a little too much of your information? Maybe they’re just too thorough and not putting customer safety first, or maybe you don’t want to deal with that website because they might be selling your information to third parties. At the very least, they are storing too much of your personal information, which you don’t want compromised at any time.
With the convenience of shopping online also comes the convenience of simply not checking a receipt or any type of statement about your purchase. The same can be said about online banking in general when people get busy. Make sure you check your credit card and bank statements so that you’re able to see if any extra charges have been added. This also keeps you on your game for protecting your accounts in general, in case any data has been compromised.
You might have heard news stories in recent years about even the trustworthy companies having databases compromised that were filled with customer information. One thing you yourself need to be aware of is malware. These programs are designed to help these crooks that are trying to get customer data that they can use to steal your identity, money and more.
Malware comes in many forms, and fortunately, there are many programs out there to help you keep your computer clean and free of risk when it comes to these programs. Have you also noticed how people are using email to send emails that look like they are coming from a trusted source? It is getting more and more difficult to tell the difference between emails you can trust and emails you can’t trust.
One other thing you need to think about is the passwords you choose. So many people try to keep their passwords simple, and they don’t write them down. Many people use the same password over and over again, forget their passwords and have to pick them over again and more. All of this leads to low-level security when it comes to how people manage their passwords.
People are also told not to write their passwords down for certain things at least, but I personally recommend doing this, even if you do so and put it under lock and key. It’s also important to come up with unique passwords that aren’t able to be guessed by anyone out there. Remember how easy it is to get information about someone online, so a complete stranger might be able to guess a simple password easier than you think.
When shopping online via a mobile device, one piece of advice that you can use to help you stay safe is to shop using mobile apps. This is different than using a mobile browser and shopping on the mobile site. The app is from the company directly, so this is a safer method for online shopping.
Have you ever used someone else’s computer to make an online purchase? If you do this, then you don’t know what security measures they’ve taken. Moreover, some people even go as far as to use a public computer to purchase something online. Would you say that is a safe way to make a purchase? Absolutely not, so avoid buying anything unless you’re using your own computer.
Now, what about your Wi-Fi connection? If you’re Internet connection isn’t protected by a password, then you can end up having other people nearby using your connection, which can compromise your security. Additionally, when you’re out in public and using a public Wi-Fi connection, you’re at a greater risk of having your information compromised. For example, say you’re sitting in a hotel room and you are browsing gifts to buy for people online. Do you really want to make that purchase, or do you think it would be a better idea to make the purchase using a secure Internet connection?
Do not buy gift cards on auction sites or anywhere else that isn’t a card directly from the company. There are just way too many scams going on out there, and there is no reason to take advantage of a gift card sale that looks too good to be true.
Also be wary of other online shopping deals that look too good to be true. There are too many people out there that are trying to get your information, and they will try anything. Be safe, and always be on alert for new tips that can help you have a safe shopping experience online. You don’t want to give up the benefits, but you don’t want to end up doing anything to cause you to have your identity and your finances compromised either…
We hope that these tips will help you have the best Online Shopping Experience This Christmas Season!
All the best 🙂
The Shaw-Review Team