Learn how to shop safely online. Learn tips to make sure that when you’re shopping online that you stay safe and don’t get taken advantage.
Are you worried you might get scammed when shopping online? Do you know some of the tricks that people try to use to deceive you when shopping online? How can you protect yourself against rogue retailers?
Today’s tips for staying safe when shopping online was inspired by all those dang phishing emails I get. They only seem to increase during the holidays! I can imagine nothing worse than being taken advantage of when shopping online.
And reading about disappointed kids because their parents are taken advantage of and they didn’t get the presents they wanted.
Use Familiar Websites
Start at a trusted site rather than shopping with a search engine. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially past the first few pages of links. If you know the site (like Amazon), chances are it’s less likely to be a rip-off. Most major retail outlets (Target, Walmart, Lowe’s) have an online store. Be on the lookout for misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com). Sales might have you salivating, but that’s how they trick you into giving up your info.
Look for the SSL
Never ever, ever buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed—at the very least. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://). An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically in the status bar at the bottom of your web browser, or right next to the URL in the address bar. It depends on your browser.
I added an SSL to my site when I began to sell products. It had never occurred to me to do this, but my web person insisted on it.
Never, ever give anyone your credit card over email. Ever.
Many people give and receive gift cards. Stick to the source when you buy one; scammers like to auction off gift cards on sites like eBay with little or no funds on them. My aunt also includes the receipt of where she purchased the gift cards in case we have any problems.
Use Strong Passwords
Create uncrackable passwords, but it’s never more important than when banking and shopping online.
“1234” or “qwerty” isn’t a strong password. The name of your relatives, kids, or pets, favorite team, or city of your birth, your birthday, anniversary, date of graduation, or even your car license plate number, aren’t strong passwords.
Consider spelling a word backwards. (Example: Turn “raleigh” into “hgielar”. Throw in some random capital letters and special characters.
https://identitysafe.norton.com/password-generator/ generate passwords for you
https://howsecureismypassword.net/ let’s you know how safe your passwords are.
Avoid Public Terminals
Don’t use a public computer to make purchases. If you do, log out every time you use a public terminal, even if you are just checking your email.
Malware has been found that targets QR codes, a digital barcode that consumers might scan with their smartphone to find good deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, or just to learn about products they want to buy.
Malicious Mobile Applications -These are mobile apps designed to steal information from smartphones, or send out expensive text messages without a user’s consent. Dangerous apps are usually offered for free, and masquerade as fun applications, such as games. For example, 4.6 million Android smartphone users downloaded a suspicious wallpaper app that collected and transmitted user data to a site in China.
Phony Facebook Promotions and Contests – Who doesn’t want to win some free prizes or get a great deal around the holidays? Unfortunately, cyber scammers know that these are attractive lures and they have sprinkled Facebook with phony promotions and contests aimed at gathering personal information.
A recent scam advertised two free airline tickets but required participants to fill out multiple surveys requesting personal information.
Finally, Know What’s Too Good to Be True. Yes, sometimes the most simple advice is the best. If you think it’s too good to be true then it probably is! Be smart and if you’re unsure ask someone you trust.
Take Action from Today’s blog on how to shop safely online.
- Make sure your passwords are strong
- USE SSLs and make sure it’s a trusted site
- Avoid public terminals
- Skip all the Facebook contests
- Only use mobile apps from trusted sites and Amazon
- Know What’s Too Good to Be True
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