Shopping online is so easy that it’s kind of dangerous. We’re guilty of being suckers for Shoedazzle deals, Overstock.com steals and basically everything in between. If you’re experiencing the same kind of online shopping mania that we are, then it’s important to know how to keep your computer, money and identity safe from hackers and other unsavory-type internet characters.
1. If you are using your personal computer you definitely want to ensure your firewall is on, you’ve installed the most recent virus protection updates, and anti-spyware has been installed.
2. Shop secure sites that you know and trust (probably not the sites showing up on the side of your Facebook page). Make sure the website has the lock symbol in the URL when you are checking out, which signifies that the connection is secure.
3. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Yes, even on Cyber Monday.
4. Use a credit, not debit. Debit cards are the key to your bank account and filing fraud claims with the bank is a lengthy process, so put an extra buffer between your cash and online robbers.
5. Try not to shop online in a Wi-Fi hotspot. As tempting as it is to sit in Starbucks sipping your peppermint mocha latte and hunting down deals online, often these connections are unsecure and unencrypted according to getnetwise.org which makes it easier for hackers to steal personal information like credit card numbers.
6. Keep good records and check your January statements thoroughly. We know it’s painful to look at the after-holiday bills, but ensuring everything matches up is a crucial step to safe online shopping. And then we can start talking about our New Year’s resolution to stop spending like Jay-Z. Maybe.
Written by Guest Blogger, Alycia Terry