It’s that time of year again and many fulfill their Christmas shopping online. With the ease of purchasing and timely delivery without even leaving your home, online shopping is very popular this time of year. Don’t forget that cybercriminals are out there too, trying to dampen your holiday spirit.
Here are some tips to help you shop safely this holiday season. Don’t forget that if an email or an attachment seem suspicious, don’t let your curiosity put your computer at risk.
Don’t use public Wi-Fi for online shopping
Before you join a public Wi-Fi titled “Apple Store”, look around to see if there’s an actual Apple Store in your area, confirming it is a legitimate network.
Look for “https” or the “lock” symbol on websites
When visiting a website look for “https” in the beginning of the URL or the “lock” symbol. These indicate the site uses a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate.
Know what the product should cost
If the deal is too good to be true, then it may be a scam. Check out the company before making a purchase. Also be weary of deals posted as an ad on social media sites. Sometimes these ads are for impostor companies but look very similar to the company they are trying to mimic.
Use one-time use credit card numbers
Some banks or credit card companies offer single-use credit card numbers to be used in place of your credit card number when online shopping. If the credit card number becomes exposed, it cannot be used again.
Keep your computer clean and secure
Remember to keep your Antivirus software up-to-date and apply all software patches. Never save username, passwords, or credit card information in your browser. Periodically clear your offline content, cookies, and history.
Beware of porch pirates
Make sure you track your packages to know when they should be delivered to your home. Consider having your holiday packages delivered to a family member or a trusted neighbor who is home during delivery times.
If using a card for purchases, use credit cards
When in-store shopping, avoid using your ATM or debit card while shopping. When using a credit card, you are not using funds associated with your bank account. If you pay off the credit card balance each month, you won’t pay interest and your banking information will be protected.
Don’t leave purchases in your car unattended
If you must leave items in your car, consider leaving them in the trunk, center console or glove compartment rather than in a visible location.
Content provided by Georgia Farm Bureau Federation and Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance IT Departments