As technology continues to advance, more and more people from all age ranges have learned of the ease of access our personal computers and mobile devices provide for us, especially when it comes to online shopping. With the holiday season fast approaching, its time to review what can be done to keep your personal information safe while shopping online.
The benefits of online shopping are clear, stores are always open. Shipping is only a blink away, you don’t have to deal with crowds. It’s easy to research and compare products before making a decision and you can find good deals with the click of a mouse. Even discount codes have been shared relentlessly only to further entice the convenience of online shopping.
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- You don't always know if a website is secure.
- You must use a credit or debit card.
- It can be hard to return an item.
- Shipping costs can be expensive.
- You aren't able to try on before you buy.
- It's easy to overspend because online shopping can be addicting.
Online Shopping Tips
Keep these tips in mind and you'll be sure to be safe while shopping online:
- Only provide private information to secure sites that have an “s” after the http (https://). Also, look for a padlock symbol next to the “https.”
- Check if the website provides clear and detailed contact information. Scam websites often lack specific contact information like phone numbers and addresses.
- See if there are reviews of a website if you are unsure about it.
- Use a service like PayPal that doesn’t reveal your private information.
- If you buy online, always check your credit card statement to make sure everything is correct and that there are not any unwanted or unknown charges.
- Stick with popular websites that you trust.
- Never click on a random pop-up window. If you don’t know where it came from, close it! Pop-up windows can carry viruses. If a website generates pop-up windows, you may even want to leave the website.
- Never send private information, such as a credit card number or a checking account number, in e-mail.
- In the event of fraud or unwanted charges, it will be more difficult to get your money back if you pay with a debit card than if you pay with a credit card. Under the Fair Credit and Billing Act, your liability for a lost or stolen credit card is only $50.
- Do not use an unsecured network or Internet connection to shop online. Unsecured networks are typically found in public places such as a library or restaurant.
SafeAmerica understands the level of security needed to stay secure while on the internet and during National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we want to help inform our members of the best practices for staying safe online and keeping sensitive information secure.
Keep an eye out every week this month for new blog posts on the best practices during the time you spend online. Safe for surfing the web.