5 Ways to Protect Your Credit & Purchases While Shopping Online
The holiday season is upon us and with many retailers offering great online deals in anticipation of Black Friday and CyberMonday, they can be hard to resist. Online shopping is a busy woman’s savior but beware! Taking advantage of the convenience in shopping online could pose risks to both your personal information and your computer. Being aware of key issues is important as knowing who has the best deals!
Fact: Not every Web site and online shop is a safe and reputable merchant! The truth is many thieves are quite skilled at crafting very convincing, legitimate-looking online shopping sites. Be very careful who you purchase from! Make sure you know where you’re shopping and that you read all the fine print.
Fact: A common phishing tactic targeting online shoppers utilizes online promotions and sales to entice a consumer to enter personal information in order to receive coupons or other merchandise. While many reputable sites offer coupons or samples, they will never ask for excessive amounts of personal information to redeem them, most only require a name and email address.
Here are the top 5 ways you can protect your credit, purchases, and personal information during your online shopping sprees by being safe and savvy:
- Always shop from a secure PC with a good security suite installed.
- Stick with sites you know and trust… think Amazon, Overstock, and websites of major retailers and check for security seals on all shopping sites, such as VeriSign.
- Avoid “great gift” or “special offer” through unknown email addresses. They are likely fake and are phishing scams.
- Use credit cards instead of debit cards. Debit cards offer a lower liability in case you are the victim of fraud.
- Make sure that the connection to the website is an http. This doesn’t guarantee safety, but in most cases these sites are safe.
Enjoy your online shopping sprees. Giving the gift of happiness doesn’t have to cost you more than you’ve bargained for!
Leticia is a family internet safety and security expert for BitMoms.com, a free community resource from BitDefender that helps families stay safe online. She can also be found at Tech Savvy Mama and on Twitter @TechSavvyMama or on @BitMoms.