Staying Safe While Christmas Shopping

Most of us plan on completing our holiday shopping in the next week. If you’re like me, you live in an area in which holiday shopping requires travel time. You may also not have access to the stores where you want to shop. When we are shopping in brick and mortar stores, we think about our personal safety, and the safety of our families while holiday shopping, but do you think about the safety of your personal information when shopping online? Did you know that last year, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received nearly 300,000 online-theft complaints?

 

According to eMarketer,a research company that provides insights related to commerce and marketing in the digital world, online shopping is expected to boom during the 2017 holiday season. Taking special precautions while online shopping can protect your identity and credit card information from being stolen. At LifeLock, experts have shared the following tips for keeping your identity sage this holiday season. 

  1. Only shop from websites you trust. 

When you’re shopping at a brick and mortar store, you know for sure it really exists, but when you shop online, some websites could possibly just be a front. Some websites exist only for the purpose of stealing your credit card information. While it may look like a legit website, it may not be.

2.  Check out unfamiliar websites before you buy

 

If you happen to find the perfect gift on an unfamiliar website, do some investigating before you enter any personal information. Perhaps the best hint is whether or not there is a phone number and address for a real brick and mortar location. Check out their social media presence: does the company interact with their customers? Are there any reviews? What do they say?

3. Beware of prices that seem too good to be true 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are common, but if a website offers prices that seem too good to be true, they probably are. It is wise to compare prices and pictures of similar items at different retailers. Unusually low prices could be a hint that a website may be a scam to get your information.

4. Don’t do your online shopping on public wi-fi 

You wouldn’t give out your social security number or your credit card information on a cordless phone, so don’t do it on a public wi-fi. With a little knowledge of the Internet, someone can easily intercept what you are viewing on the Internet, and also gain access to your credit card number.

5. Check out website security
If you see a small lock icon in the corner of your URL field, this tells you that the web page you’re on has privacy protection installed. The URL will start with “https.” If you don’t see a lock or “https,” then the website has no protection installed.

“R”Refer to the following infographic for more tips on how to keep your identity safe during this holiday season.

 

Happy shopping!

 

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