If you're like most of us, you're doing some, if not all, of your shopping online. While it is a convenient way to shop, there are some very important things to watch out for, so you don't end up getting scammed and accidentally give up your personal, credit, or banking information to a hacker.
Below are some safety tips for online shopping:
Shop at websites you trust.
If its an unfamiliar site, check out the business with an online search of the Better Business Bureau, Google, Yelp and social media, to see if they're legit.
Don't shop on public Wi-Fi (your transaction can be easily hacked).
Check a websites security. You should see a small lock icon in the URL field. If you don't the lock that means the website is not secure, and neither is any personal information you enter on that site.
Create long and strong passwords that have a combination of letters, numbers and symbols.
Watch out for email scams. Always check the "from" address (click on it) to see if the email is actually from the company, and not a garbled address. If you're not sure don't click into the email.
Don't share all your personal information, especially your birth date or social security number.
Do not pay anything online with your debit card.
If you are unfamiliar with a website, use a payment gateway company like PayPal, so your credit card is not potentially exposed to hackers.
Check your statements weekly for unauthorized charges. Immediately contact your credit card company to investigate any fraudulent activity.
If you have to meet an online seller to complete a transaction (i.e. from FB Marketplace or Craigslist, etc.), meet them at your local police station parking lot, and let the police know you will be there. The police are accommodating to this practice.
Stay safe during your online holiday shopping experience!
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Until next time, Stay Safe!
Author, The Short Fight