The holiday season is officially upon us!

For millions of consumers, online shopping has become the preferred method of holiday shopping. And who can blame them? There are an infinite number of products to choose from, some truly great deals, fast shipping, and best of all: no lines.

As with all online activity, it’s important to take several precautions before breaking out the credit cards and making purchases. Below, we’ll break down a few tips for safe online shopping this holiday season.

  • Look for the SSL PADLOCK icon. In your browser, you should see a green padlock, or ‘secure’ dialog telling your the website your visiting is safe. This should be on all e-commerce, and online retail websites and means that your private information, including credit card information, is secure to input.
  • Use familiar websites. Instead of searching for products via a web search engine, try starting off with trusted sites such as Amazon, or known retailer, like Target, for example.
  • Make sure your browser is updated. Shopping with the latest brand named browser such as Firefox, Edge, or Chrome with the latest updates installed will help in protecting your information from adware, spyware, and phishing attempts.
  • Use a credit card, not a debit card. False credit card transactions are much easier to deal with and are not directly tied to your personal bank account. If you do use a debit card, regularly monitor your transactions.
  • Be careful with how much information you give out. Be wary of online retailers that ask for information such as your social security number or birth date. If this information falls into the hands of a cyber criminal, it’s considered to be key information for stealing your identity.
  • Use strong passwords and update them regularly. Create a password that is only unique to you and contains upper case and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters.
  • Use official mobile shopping apps. If you use your mobile device to shop, use apps that are provided directly from the retailer, like the Amazon app. It is recommended to use the app directly when making a purchase rather than through a browser.
  • Save and print all online transactions. It is best to keep a record in the event you need to dispute an unknown charge.

Any questions or comments? Want to know more about protecting your online identity? Contact us today!