I recently read a study that had the overwhelming majority of people doing at least some of their holiday shopping online. Even the most inexperienced computer/Internet user may try to make some purchases online during the holiday season and it’s more important than ever to take steps to stay safe online!
I shop online very frequently and here are some of my tips for staying safe online this holiday season:
1. Make sure you are purchasing from a secure site. Check to make sure that the site you are buying from is secure by making sure there is an “s” after the “http” in the address bar line. This means the site is secure and your information will be transmitted safely. I wouldn’t click links sent to you in your email as they may be phishing and instead type in website addresses manually or use a search tool like google to find the site you are looking for.
2. Create secure passwords and store them safely. The Master Lock Vault is a great tool to help you create the most secure passwords possible. It’s important to choose one that isn’t susceptible to be hacked. The problem I find with these super secure passwords is that I never remember them and Master Lock Vault will also securely store your passwords for you! Read my earlier review on the Master Lock Vault for more information.
3. Don’t use your debit card. When you use a regular credit card if someone obtains your number and makes an unauthorized charge you can dispute the charge and you won’t be responsible for paying it. If you use a debit card your money is debited instantly from your account and while you can certainly dispute the charge you will be out the money that was spent while the company investigates your claim. It makes the most sense to use a regular credit card especially if you do a lot of online shopping and are therefore more susceptible to credit card fraud.
4. Use one credit card for all online shopping. I use one card for all of my online shopping. I don’t have it tied to any automatic debits and this way if someone obtains my information I am able to easily cancel the card without worrying about all of the automatic debits I may have set up. It also makes it easy for me to memorize the card number so I don’t have to get up to grab my wallet every time I make an online purchase!
5. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. There are a lot of great deals this time of year but if a deal sounds too good to be true then it probably is. Be weary of clicking on deals you see on Facebook, etc. Often times they are scams and when you buy the item you are giving the scammer your credit card information. When in doubt google the company and the deal to read more about it.
Use your common sense when shopping online! Most scams are not that hard to detect – just be on your toes and know what to look for!
I am a member of Master Lock’s Live Secure Safety Squad. I receive occasional compensation and products for my participation but my opinions are all my own.
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