A Few Ways to Stay Safe When Shopping Online This Holiday Season

Now that it’s officially time to begin Christmas shopping for the holidays, we want to equip you with some basic ways to stay off cybercriminals’ radars, and safeguard your financial information as you shop online.

Here are five simple precautions, suggested by Forbes and USA Today, to take just ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday this shopping season.

  1. Search sites that begin with “HTTPS”, not “HTTP” and look for the green Padlock.  

    Secure addresses begin with “HTTPS,” which means that all of your information included in that transaction is secure via encryption.  Secure sites oftentimes begin with a green padlock icon in front of the “HTTPS” in the address bar

  2. Look for Secure Payment Seals  

    Secure payment seals such as Norton Secured, VeriSign, and DigiCert verify that you’re making transactions on legitimate websites that are securing your information via SSL (Secure Socket Layer), another way to encrypt data.

    Norton SecuredDigicert Trusted VeriSign Trusted

  3. Use strong, secure passwords.

    A strong password should be at least 8 characters, and a mix of alphanumeric characters. It should NEVER include personal information such as birthdates, addresses, or phone numbers, and you should NEVER use the same password across multiple sites.

  4. Avoid shopping on public WiFi and hotspots.

    You never know if your information is being tracked or logged across public Wi-Fi networks (i.e. airport lounges, hotel lobbies, or coffee shops), so it’s best to shop from home. Or, turn on your cellular data to purchase from your mobile device.  

  5. Watch out for fake shopping apps.

    Tons of phony retail apps submerge to trick shoppers into downloading them to get your credit card information, steal your identity, and even infect your device with malware.  Before downloading any shopping apps:

    • Make sure that it’s been around for a few years and has high ratings from other users. NEVER be the first to download a new shopping app.Amazon.com
    • Check for the little blue checkmark by a brand’s social media profile to verify that the company is legitimate.

 

This infographic highlights some warning signs and key indicators of fake apps to be on the lookout for.

 

How to Identify a Fake AppLastly, using any hoarded gift cards from birthdays, or past Christmases are a smart way to shop without disclosing any of your financial information.

Continue to follow us as we uncover the latest developments in safeguarding your business, yourselves, and your families this winter season.

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