As snow begins to fall, the Christmas spirit fills the air. Now is the perfect time to start shopping for presents!
Shopping online is a great way to find the ideal gift for all your family and friends. It’s convenient and easy to find precisely what you’ve got in mind with just a few simple keyboard clicks.
However, online shopping can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. That’s why taking some safety precautions when shopping online during the holiday season is essential.
Follow these tips for safe and worry-free online shopping this Christmas:
Shop from reputable online retailers
Online shopping carries a lot of risks. You could end up with a faulty product, or even worse, you could get scammed.
That’s why it’s important to only shop from reputable online retailers. Reputable retailers will usually have a few things in common. These include:
- A Good Reputation
You can check an online retailer’s reputation by reading reviews or asking friends and family if they’ve had a good experience with the company.
- A Solid Return Policy
The best online retailers have a return policy in place if you’re unhappy with your purchase. In order to determine if the return policy is good, make sure it is outlined on the company’s website and easy to understand.
- A Secure Website
A secure website ensures your personal and financial information will be safe when you make a purchase. Read on to know how the website your visiting is secure!
Look for the “HTTPS” in the web address to ensure that the site is secure.
Online shopping and banking are convenient and efficient and are often cheaper than doing things in person.
But it’s important to remember that any time you enter sensitive information into a website, you must ensure that the site is secure.
The best way to do check this is to look for the “HTTPS” at the beginning of the website address. This stands for “hypertext transfer protocol secure,” meaning that the site uses an encrypted connection.
This is a sign that your information will be safe from prying eyes as it travels from your computer to the server.
Pay with a credit card to protect yourself against fraud
Credit cards are the ultimate in convenience, offering an easy way to pay for everything from coffee to car rentals. However, there can be some significant dangers associated with using credit cards.
One of the most significant risks is fraud. If your credit card information is compromised, it can be used to make unauthorized purchases and rack up a lot of debt in your name.
Credit cards offer greater protection against fraud than debit cards because they’re not linked directly to your bank account.
If your credit card information is stolen, you can report the fraud to your credit card company, who will cancel the card and issue a new one.
You can also dispute any unauthorized charges made to your credit card.
On the other hand, if you use a debit card, the money is taken directly out of your bank account.
The thief can clean out your entire bank account if your debit card information is stolen. This can leave you without money to pay bills or buy groceries.
For this reason, it’s always best to use a credit card when shopping online. Keep your computer’s security software up-to-date and scan regularly for viruses In today’s world, keeping your computer secure is more critical than ever. That’s why it’s crucial to have security software installed and ensure it’s always up to date.
The best security software will include antivirus protection, firewall protection, and intrusion detection.
It’s also important to scan your computer regularly for viruses. You can do this manually or set your security software automatically. Either way, virus scans are essential to keeping your computer safe.
These simple steps can help protect your computer from ever-growing malware and other online threats.
Create strong passwords and avoid using the same password on multiple websites
Have you ever wondered why you should create strong passwords and not use the same password on multiple websites? It may seem like too much work to keep track of different passwords, but it’s vital for your online security.
Hackers can more easily access your account information when you reuse the same password over multiple websites. If just one of those websites is hacked, the hacker can try that same password on other websites until they find one that works.
This is called credential stuffing, a major online problem. Studies show that credential stuffing is responsible for 81% of data breaches.
However, if you use unique passwords for every website, even if one is hacked, the hacker will only have access to that one account.
They won’t be able to use that password to log in to your other accounts. So by using different passwords, you’re protecting all your online accounts, not just one.
Of course, it can be challenging to remember all those different passwords.
That’s why experts recommend using a password manager. A password manager is a program that automatically saves your passwords and fills in login forms.
Most password managers are very secure, and many of them are even free. So, there’s no excuse not to start using them!
Knowing how a website plans to use any personal information you give them is essential. For example, some websites sell customers’ information to third-party companies.
Others may use your information for targeted advertising.
And some websites may even share your information with government agencies. This is why it’s important to know what a website plans to do with your data before you give it to them.
When it comes to email, if in doubt, delete.
Your inbox is not the safe place it used to be, especially during the holiday season where there’s a lot of money being spent. The Federal Trade Commission’s website page, How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams | Consumer Advice (ftc.gov), offers more in-depth information on how to spot these types of emails, but there’s a few simple tells you can look out for.
Firstly, ask yourself: is the offer odd? Would the assumed sender of the email realistically talk like this or ask for these pieces of information?
Then, look at the logo and branding style. Does it seem off? How about the sender’s email address? Is it consistent with that sender’s company email?
If not, then swiftly deliver it to the trashcan.
Lastly, avoid clicking links in emails you received but didn’t ask for until you can identify who sent it and their reason for sending. If you can’t (or are uninterested), just delete it. Remember: All it takes is one malicious link to throw your finances and safety in limbo.
Better to be safe than sorry.
This holiday season, when you’re shopping online for the perfect gift, remember to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from fraud and theft.
For more tips on staying safe online this holiday season, contact Decision Digital today!