Eight Security Tips for Online Holiday Shopping
It’s the most wonderful time of year, but it can also be stressful. Shopping for gifts can be especially anxiety-inducing when you’re doing it online. With the holidays in full swing, safe and secure online shopping should be top of mind. To help ensure safe and secure transactions while holiday shopping online. Fraud on the internet activities is on the rise during this time of year, so knowing how to protect yourself is key to having a happy holiday season.
Read on for more online holiday shopping tips to help make your online shopping experience stress-free and secure.
1. Don’t Get Phished: Be aware of phishing scams, which are attempts by hackers to gain access to your personal information. Watch out for emails that appear to be from legitimate companies but may contain malicious links or attachments. It’s best to avoid clicking on any links within emails, and if you do click on them, make sure you navigate directly to the company website instead of using the link in the email.
2. Use Secure Sites: When shopping online, always look for “https://” in the URL of the website before entering any payment information. Make sure your browsing experience is as secure as possible using https secure website. This means that your data is encrypted and protected from potential cyber threats. This indicates a secure site and helps keep your computer safe from potential hacking attempts. You should also look for websites that display a padlock icon next to their URL — this is another indication that the website has taken steps to ensure your data is secure.
3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: Public Wi-Fi networks make it easy for hackers to intercept sensitive information like credit card numbers or passwords as they travel between your device and the network itself. So it’s best to avoid using public wi-fi networks when shopping online, especially if you’re entering financial information or other sensitive data into websites. If possible, stick with secured home or work networks when shopping online during the holidays (or anytime!).
4. Use Strong Passwords: Make sure all of your passwords are strong and unique – meaning they include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters – so they won’t be easily guessed by anyone trying to access your accounts without permission. Also, consider using two-factor authentication whenever possible – this adds an extra layer of online shopping security by requiring additional verification (like an SMS code sent directly to your phone) when logging in from a new device or location.
5. Set Up Alerts: Most banks offer fraud alerts through text messages or emails whenever suspicious activity is detected on their accounts — these alerts can help you quickly detect fraudulent purchases so you can take action before any real damage is done. Setting up fraud alerts can give you peace of mind while shopping online this holiday season (and beyond).
6. Monitor Your Credit Card Statements: Regularly monitoring credit card statements will help ensure no unauthorized charges have been made on your account and will give you additional visibility into what purchases were made during each billing cycle — making it easier for you to spot anything suspicious right away and take action if necessary.
7. Use A Credit Card: If possible, use a credit card instead of a debit card when making purchases online. Credit cards typically offer better protection against fraud, as well as purchase protection benefits (like extended warranties) in case something goes wrong with one of your purchases.
8. Research Merchants: Before making any major purchase, research merchants thoroughly online. Check reviews from other customers, check out customer service ratings, read return policies, etc. Doing some due diligence beforehand can save you time, money, and hassle if something goes wrong with one of your orders.
The holiday season is an excellent time for online shopping! To protect yourself, be sure to take proper precautions when you’re buying presents online. Scamwatch website recommends using strong and unique passwords from known brands. Scamwatch has an entire section dedicated to keeping cyber-shoppers safe, so make sure to visit their website before you shop this holiday season.
Shopping online doesn’t need to be stressful! With these security tips in mind, you’ll be able to stay safe while still getting all those holiday gifts taken care of without leaving home! Have fun browsing through websites–just remember not to get phished! Happy Holidays!