Top Tips For Safe Online Holiday Shopping

In November 18, 2014

Holiday shopping today isn’t exactly like it was 20 years ago! Most people today turn to the internet to do at least some of their shopping. With the convenience of having packages delivered straight to your home and avoiding the crunch of physically going to the brick-and-mortar stores, it only makes sense. However, a few “Grinches” out there may try to interrupt your holiday joy by taking advantage of the season and attempting to steal your financial data through the internet. Luckily, it is possible to prevent this by taking a few simple steps:

  • Watch What You Click – Be careful when clicking links in your emails. Sometimes, data thieves will send “phishing” emails trying to get you to click a link so they can attain your sensitive information. Do not comply! Unless you are completely certain the email is legit, go to the website in question yourself and find your destination.
  • Lock Your Device – This is great advice any time of the year, but especially around the holidays when you may be shopping on your phone. You wouldn’t leave your social security card and birth certificate sitting around for anyone to see, why leave your sensitive data available on your smartphone?
  • Connect Carefully – Use caution when choosing which connections to trust. Using an unsecure Wi-Fi connection in your local coffee shop may be okay if all you want to do is check the weather or play a game of online solitaire. However, it is not recommended for use when you are shopping or doing anything that could put your data at risk.
  • Keep Track of Your Purchases – Shopping online can make it easier to lose track of your expenditures than other forms of shopping. Write down or take note somehow of what you purchase, so you know if any unexpected charges appear on your credit card statement.
  • Deck Your Hallsand Your Devices – Make sure you have a good antivirus program in place on your computer, smartphone, tablet and any other device you use. This can help prevent you from downloading a virus—but may also stop you from stumbling on an unsavory website or giving your data to thieves.

Ideally, you will never have to deal with the hassles of identity theft. However, when the holidays are over, take the time to pull your credit reports and make sure everything is in order. This is one of the best ways to find out if you have become a victim of a data or identity thief. Catching a problem early, instead of waiting for it to grow into something huge, is the best way to move forward.



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