Safe Online Shopping Tips

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Shopping has never been easier or more convenient for consumers. Follow these basic guidelines and you can shop online with confidence.

Know who you’re shopping with

Don’t shop at any online store. Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine,  or go to well implemented aggregators websites. When using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.

Look for a secure connection

When shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with https:// indicating extra measures to help secure your information. Never buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have at least SSL encryption installed. Also, an icon of a locked padlock can be seen. Depending on your browser, it should be displayed typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL, in the address bar. And, of course, never, ever give anyone your credit card details over email. Links in emails, posts and texts are often the ways cyber-criminals try to steal your information or infect your devices.

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Don’t give out all your personal information

When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. No online shopping store needs your social security number or your birthday to sell you something. Your default attitude should be set to giving up the least amount of information.

Keep your PC up to date

Keep your operating system and your software regularly updated. Obsolete, out of date software is like an inviting open door to the bad guys. Also, have a good security software installed and frequently updated. You need to protect against malware with regular updates to your anti-virus program. We recommend Bitdefender Internet Security, which offers advanced protection against threats during the online shopping, extras to help fight identity theft, and many more features.

Check your statements

Go online regularly during the holiday season and look at electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts. If you see something wrong, call your bank quickly. In the case of credit cards, pay the bill only once you know all your charges are accurate. You have 30 days to notify the bank or card issuer of problems.

Use strong passwords when creating new accounts on all sorts of e-commerce sites. Improve them by adding capital letters, numbers and symbols and using different passwords for every account.

Shop safely from your mobile device using apps provided directly by the retailers, like Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc. Use the apps to find what you want and then make the purchase directly, without going to the store or the website.

Avoid public terminals and public networks when shopping online. Only use the wireless if you access the Web over a virtual private network (VPN) connection.

Also read the McAfee warning about the  “Twelve Scams of Christmas” >>>