Everyone is looking for a bargain this holiday season and with 30% of consumers now shopping online from their mobile phone for that perfect gift, it is more important than ever to protect that special purchase.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to have over 3 billion in sales over the next week, and that kind of money is sure to attract cybercriminals that want to cash in consumers vulnerability.
What can you do to ensure your online shopping is safe and secure?
Here are 5 Tips to ensure that special loved one has a wonderful holiday season:
- Shop with trusted brands: There are now thousands of online shopping sites, each offering their own incentives and sales promotions. One security benefit of shopping with a shopping portal that has an established history of strong cybersecurity protocols and customer guarantees, you can ensure that if you run into trouble, you will have the customer support backing for peace of mind.
- Look for HTTPS and SSL websites: Major shopping stores and platforms such as Amazon and Ebay have secure servers to protect your credit card and identity information from potential hackers. If you are shopping with a boutique site, ensure that the website has HTTPS and a generally includes a padlock in their URL. This is a sign that the website utilizes SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) that encrypts any information you submit online such as your credit card info If the website you are shopping on doesn’t have this, then consider buying the product on another website that has integrated this technology.
- Avoid using your Debit Visa linked to your bank account: Many consumers these days are trying to stay out of credit card debt and prefer using their Visa Debit card to avoid the post-holiday hangover credit card statements. However, online shopping should be the exception. By using either a credit card or online payment system such as PayPal, you not only limit the amount of liability you are responsible for in case of fraud (sometimes $0 depending on your bank issuer), but your banking details are never seen by a third party thereby offering another layer of identity protection.
- Avoid using Public Wifi Networks for online shopping: Do you find yourself sitting in a coffee shop or your hotel room browsing the latest deals online while using the free wifi provided? While free WiFi hotspots are a great way to save your mobile data and browse the latest news, online shopping is worth the data splurge to provide the extra protection you need during this holiday season. Many folks would be surprised how many WiFi network are not secure and very susceptible to attacks putting your personal information at risk. By using the data from your network provider for purchases will give you increased security and avoid potential headaches during this joyful season.
- Closely monitor your bank account and credit card activity: While many would say this is common sense, monitoring your spending online is one of the most effective ways to prevent fraud and nip any unusual activity in the bud. Criminals count on consumers being extremely busy with high levels of financial transactions that are outside of their normal spending patterns. Try using only one credit card for all holiday purchases this season. This will make keeping a watchful eye on all transactions much easier rather than having to check multiple accounts.