This holiday season, many people will be doing some, if not all of their shopping online. On-line shopping is a fast, easy way to get shopping finished without ever setting foot in a mall.
Stores like Abt.com are customer-friendly, and we take many necessary steps to insure that customer information is safe and protected. Many stores are the same way. Unfortunately, like a pick-pocket in a crowded shopping mall, there are scammers waiting to take advantage of you online, too. Here a few tips to help you stay safe when shopping on-line this year.
Always use websites that have a little padlock located somewhere on the page. Make it mandatory that you only use websites that are secure. If you are unable to locate the padlock, look at the web address. If you see an “https” the website is secure. If you notice that the website only has “http” then I would navigate to another website that is secure.
Many stores require a log in and password. Try to avoid using the same password for all of the different websites you use. Try to make it something that has numbers and letters. Identity thieves could try to crack your password using familiar things to you, like a pet or child’s name.
Keep your computer protected. Wireless connections enable free movement of laptops and notebooks. If your computer is not protected, you could get a virus or someone could get access to your network—and information on that network.
Never respond to email from someone that you don’t know. Spam filters can sweep them into a junk mail folder before they even reach you. That’s another reason to have good security on your computer. Good computer security will have an email feature that blocks spam.
Another on-line shopping safety measure is dedicating credit card for use only when shopping on-line. If you only use one credit card for all of your purchases, if anything were to happen, you need not worry about canceling all of your credit cards. Another benefit to using a credit card is that it’s not connected to your checking account. If a dispute for a charge is necessary, you won’t have any cash in limbo.
If you would like additional safety information for on-line shopping visit staysafeonline.org.