5 Ways To Shop Safely Online This Holiday Season
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the most anticipated shopping days of the year – and for good reason! Brick-and-mortar stores have amazing sales to lure customers into their stores on Black Friday. Cyber Monday has people rushing to work to use their offices’ high-speed Internet to surf the best sales and get the coveted Free Shipping that is standard on this first Monday after Thanksgiving. A ton of shopping is done on these days, but it really is just the kick-off to five full weeks of massive online and in-store shopping. Check out these five ways to shop safely online this holiday season.
There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays
Before you log into the internet from your favorite coffeehouse, think again. When shopping online and using your bank or credit card information, it is best to do it from a safe, secure network. Log in from your work or your best bet, from your own home’s secure connection. Public Wi-Fi is way too easy to be hacked, which can expose your billing information, passwords, and your shopping history.
Santa’s Thieves Are Watching You
If you do nothing else today, lock your devices with a key code, fingerprint, or password. It is alarming the amount of smartphones, tablets, and laptops that are not kept secure. If you have an Apple device, download the app Find my iPhone. Make it harder for thieves that use a five-finger discount to access your devices. Once they do, they have your personal information, social media accounts, and financial data at their fingertips.
Locks of Love
Before you hand over your credit card information when shopping on a retailer’s site, check the address bar for the little padlock symbol. This means that the website is secure and is safe to make an online purchase from. Make sure that the site is https and not http, as that is another clue if you are on a secure website.
Holidays Ring in with Verification
Enable two-factor verification for all of your accounts whenever it is available. We first saw this in the financial and banking arenas. Thankfully, it has become widespread and more websites are offering this service to verify your identity. It does this simply by asking for your mobile number and sending you a text with a code. Enter that code on the site before you are granted access to your account.
When It Pays Not to Save
It is so easy to let a website or web browser save your credit card information for later. Entering in your credit card number each and every time can be a pain and time consuming. It might be a little bit more work, but if that site is ever hacked, then your information is less likely to be compromised.