The holidays are a time for family, friends, travel, shopping for gifts, and of course, Christmas scams. People are purchasing more frequently at online merchants’ websites. Even though this is wonderful since it saves customers time, money, and gas, there are some drawbacks to internet shopping. Every year, scammers come up with new ways to try and take advantage of people during the holidays. Here are a few tips for safe holiday online shopping:
- 1 Deliver to a secure place
- 2 Use the official retailer website or app to shop
- 3 Beware of special offers that are too good to be true
- 4 Don’t save your credit card information on websites or apps
- 5 Don’t use public Wi-Fi Networks
- 6 Use strong passwords, and use two-factor authentication if available
- 7 Monitor your credit card statements
- 8 Conclusion
Deliver to a secure place
If you are not going to be at home, try to have your holiday purchases delivered to a secure place like your workplace or a relative’s house. This way, you can ensure that your gifts won’t be stolen off your doorstep if you are not present at the moment of the delivery.
During this time of the year is also very common to receive package delivery scam emails. These emails pretend to be from a shipping company with a link to track or fix your delivery. With Guardio extension, you will be able to detect these phishing attacks on time.
Use the official retailer website or app to shop
When you are looking for a specific gift, go to the retailer’s official website or app to shop. This will minimize your chances of encountering a fake website set up by scammers. Also, make sure the website you are on starts with “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP.” The “S” means that the site is secure and less likely to be hacked. Guardio is a free browser extension that uses a database of over 26 million websites to identify and block phishing attempts, malware, and other online threats in real-time. Guardio is available for free in all major browsers and offers protection against a variety of online threats.
Beware of special offers that are too good to be true
We have all seen those emails or social media posts with crazy deals that seem too good to be true, and most of the time, they are. If an offer looks unbelievable, it probably is. Don’t let the excitement of finding a great deal blind you from the fact that it could be a scam. When you’re unsure, go to the actual brand’s official website and see what the regular price is. It’s not true that other websites can give extremely low pricing.
Don’t save your credit card information on websites or apps
When you are prompted to save your credit card information on a website, it can be tempting to do so for convenience. However, this is not advisable as it increases the chances of your information being stolen in a data breach. If a website does get hacked, the hackers will have access to all of the saved credit card information. It’s better to type in your credit card number each time you make a purchase. In addition to your primary payment method, you could also use a secondary one, such as Paypal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi Networks
When you are shopping on your mobile device, avoid using public Wi-Fi networks as they are not secure. Hackers can easily set up a fake Wi-Fi network and intercept the data you send or receive while you’re connected. If you must use public Wi-Fi, be sure to only visit websites that are encrypted (HTTPS) and avoid entering any sensitive information, such as your credit card number or home address.
Another way to protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN encrypts the data you send and receive while connected to the internet, making it much more difficult for hackers to steal your information. Run a free security scan with Guardio Chrome extension, this will help you monitor suspicious activity and block hackers from stealing your data.
Use strong passwords, and use two-factor authentication if available
When creating accounts on websites or apps, be sure to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. A good password is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. You should also avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
If a website or app offers two-factor authentication (also known as two-step verification), be sure to enable it. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code that is sent to your mobile device in addition to your password when logging in. This makes it much more difficult for hackers to gain access to your account, even if they have your password.
Monitor your credit card statements
Keep an eye on your credit card statements and look for any unauthorized charges. If you see a charge that you don’t recognize, contact your credit card company right away. You should also regularly check your credit report for any suspicious activity.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your holiday online shopping experience is safe and enjoyable. Remember to be vigilant and don’t let the excitement of finding a great deal blind you from the fact that it could be a scam. When in doubt, go to the official website of the brand to check the regular pricing. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun!
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