So you avoided Black Friday and now you’re looking to shop online. Before you enter your credit card number, here are some tips to play it safe!
1. Make sure you are buying from a secure site.
First and foremost, make sure the URL in the browser bar says HTTPS. Those 5-little letters indicate that the site you’re shopping on is secure. Also, look for a small padlock icon in the browser bar as well.
2. Get your anti-virus protection on.
Before you make ANY purchases, update your software. Set up your firewall, block those pop-up-ads and make sure your security software is running!
3. Don’t trust all those emails.
You check your email, see that you have 400 unread messages only to find out that they’re for online deals: “GREAT Cyber Monday Deals Found Here” – “Want To Save Money On Cyber Monday? CLICK HERE!” … DON’T fall for it! Unless you’ve subscribed to an online retailer for updates on deals, avoid these emails. Clicking on their link not only opens your computer up to viruses but it also can leave you a victim of identity theft by allowing access to your online information.
4. Password, password, password!
Remember those articles that surfaced about the “Top Ten Used Passwords”? Yeah, avoid any/all of those if you can. Never use the same password for all of your retail accounts. The most recommended passwords are those with a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Also, don’t use your name or any of your family members names.
5. Be “mobile device mindful” when you shop!
The number of people shopping with their phone or tablet it on the rise. There’s nothing wrong with this just remember to ‘password-protect’ your device. Also, if you’re logged in through a wifi network make sure it’s password-protected as well!