Whether you are avoiding the crowds at the mall, or scouring the internet for the best deals, safe online shopping for the holiday season continues to be a challenge. Here are some online shopping tips to help you practice good internet safety during the holiday season.
- Order From Familiar Websites – do your online shopping with trusted websites and don’t take chances with results from search engines. Bestow your business on companies you know.
- Use a Credit Card for Payment – it is best to use a credit card when making an online purchase because federal law protects credit card users from fraud, and limits individual liability to $50. This is a good protection to safe guard you in case you have a purchase problem.
- Only Shop at Encrypted Websites – when in the checkout process of a merchant, always make sure that the web address lists “https” instead of “http”. An online address including “https” ensures that you are using an encrypted communications path to transmit your name, address, and credit card information, which is the safest way to send that information.
- Avoid Random Coupons with Unknown Origins – scammers often use a technique called cross-site scripting to create a hyperlink that appears to come from a merchant site but actually relays your credit card information to a scammer when you insert your payment information into the payment fields. Only use coupons that are available on the actual vendor’s website, preferably one that you subscribe to already.
- Never Provide Your Social Security Number or Birthdate When Shopping – merchants should never ask for this information from you for a product order. Avoid any websites that require you to input this information to process your order.
- Know the Merchant’s Policies – make sure you know how to handle the unexpected return or exchange. Also, make sure all shipping policies are clearly disclosed, and that there are no other hidden fees.
- Keep Your Security Software Up to Date – it is important to have the latest security software on all of your devices, and keep updating that software as needed.
What do you think about Safe Online Shopping for the Holidays? Please share your comments with us.