The holiday season is among us! To ensure that your online shopping experience will be merry and bright, here are a few select tips we’ve put together as a reminder on how to practice safe online shopping. Most importantly, always think before you click.
1) Shop only on websites that have an SSL encryption installed. Look to see if the url of the website you are on starts with a “HTTPS” instead of just a “HTTP” – this is how you will be able to tell if you are shopping on a secure website. An icon of a padlock should appear before the “HTTPS” in the address bar as well.
2) Stick with websites you are familiar with, that you trust and use regularly.
3) Make sure you have antivirus software on your computer. If you already have an antivirus installed – take a moment and check to see if your antivirus software is up to date. Outdated antivirus software won’t help you and could make you vulnerable to new threats. The holiday season is the perfect time for cyber criminals to be lurking around and make an attack.
4) Online shopping is certainly at our fingertips with the ability to shop on a tablet and/or a mobile phone when out and about and so on. Sometimes we are overwhelmed with the feeling of “… I need that now!” when shopping on a website. But if you are out and not at home on your own private wifi network, take precaution. Use a network that you know will be safe, such as a wifi network at Panera, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Target, etc. Tapping into an unknown network could be costly if it is unsecure. This opens up the possibility for sensitive information to be obtained by an untrusted source.
5) Don’t use promotional links in emails that look spammy or are simply from vendors you do not know. Trust us, it’s not worth the click. If you are interested in the promo, go directly to the website of that brand and view the ad directly from the source.
6) Create strong passwords! Especially during the holidays when you are online shopping and logging in and out of your favorite retailers sites – be sure your passwords are strong. For tips on how to create a strong and secure password, click here.
7) Holiday-themed apps or games are fun! But… be cautious if they are asking you to make any purchases.
8) If you are going to shop on your mobile device, shop within the apps that are provided by the retailer such as Target, Walmart and Amazon. To be safe, make a purchase directly within the apps of trusted retailers.
Lastly, one more EXTRA quick tip – make sure to monitor your bank and card activity. Now… go and enjoy the holidays with your family and friends! The team at SDTEK wishes you a very safe and wonderful holiday season!