‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Shoppers were clicking, with touchpads and with mouse.
The online shopping carts were filled with care,
with hopes that discounts and deals would soon be there…
Holiday shopping season is upon us once again, and if you are one of the 174 million Americans who shopped last year, you likely have a detailed list of gifts set up to purchase already. Online shopping is the preferred method to take advantage of the season’s deals when massive lines and crowded stores can put a damper on your holiday spirit. However, cybercriminals love holiday shopping as much as you do. They work to make a profit off the increase in e-commerce activity around the holidays.
When it comes to being safe and secure online, you can never be too careful. Check out these 5 safe online shopping tips to make sure that you don’t get Grinched this holiday season.
5 Safe Online Shopping Tips
1. Deck The Halls With Security Updates
It’s a good idea to update the software on your computer before you start shopping. This includes your OS, browser, and any other web applications. If you are planning to do any shopping from your mobile phone or tablet, the same rule applies. This is to ensure that your device, and your sensitive data, are protected.
2. Check That Link (And Check It Twice)
Retail emails are a great way to be the first to know about discounts and new products. However, beware of emails that come from unfamiliar websites. It could be a phishing scheme designed to trick you into clicking a link and entering personal and financial data. If you see a deal that is just too good to be true, type the website name into your browser, and then shop with confidence.
3. ‘Appy Holidays
Make sure any e-commerce apps you plan to use are downloaded from a trusted source, like the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon App Store. Note the “permissions” that will pop up when you download an app. Make sure to read through them and see if they make sense. You can also look at the feedback in the comments section of the app and choose ones with high ratings.
4. No Place Like Home For The Holidays
There is no place like home for the holidays, especially when shopping online. Having a secure network connection is ideal, so plan to do most of your shopping on your home network. Public Wi-Fi can easily be hacked, exposing your sensitive data cybercriminals, who are definitely on the naughty list this year.
5. Secure Season’s Greetings
You are likely to shop from several websites this holiday season, but it is important to ensure that they are secure. It’s very easy to check this if you know where to look! Check out the URL of every website you plan to shop from. If you see a lock icon and the word “secure” next to the URL, then you can shop with confidence.
Be sure to share these tips with others and spread the word about online holiday shopping security!