It’s almost Christmas again and it’s the season of online shopping again. Online shopping is always at its peak during holiday seasons but staying secure is more important and I am going to share some safe online shopping tips for this Christmas with you. Many people are going to shop online this period and this will present a golden opportunity for cyber criminals to swindle unsuspecting consumers. So if you are planning to shop online during this Christmas holidays, here are some safe online shopping tips to help you stay safe.
Tips for Safe Online Shopping:
Online shopping is an easier way of shopping as most people do not like the long queues in shopping malls. You simply place your orders online and your goods gets delivered to your door step without you leaving your house, so many people find this very convenient and engage in it. I cannot over emphasize on the importance of online shopping in this article, my major focus will be the safety of online shopping during this period and any other time.
The major two ways your secure transaction details can get out to cyber criminals are the invasion and deception methods. These two methods involves fraudulently disguising as reputable and legitimate merchants or invasive access into your private computer or device and steal your personal information even without your notice. To stay safe while shopping online always adhere strictly to the following.
1. Secure your Computer: Securing your computer or any device you use to make online shopping is your first line of defense against cyber criminals who are working day and night to steal your hard earned money. Use a good antivirus/anti-malware program to secure your computer from malware that may gain access to your computer via fraudulent websites and domicile on your PC while stealing and sending your private information to these criminals. Always ensure your computer antivirus/malware is up-to-date, that way you will always be on top of the latest threats list. Update your system always, optimize your security settings, only grant internet access to trusted programs and use latest browser versions to browse. That way you will carry out safe online shopping.
2. Use only Secure Websites: For safe online shopping use only secure websites for all online shopping. Always look out for the locked key icon on your browser. Do not make payments on websites with HTTP protocol; do not ever buy anything from websites that doesn’t have SSL encryption. Secure web pages will normally start with HTTPS. Beware of sites with misspelled names as this may be a trick to make you believe it’s the real website.
3. Avoid offers with ridiculously deep discounts: Most people get lured into believing they are acquiring cheap goods with too-good-to-be-true offers. When you are being offered top-of-the-line item for an unbelievable cheap prize, watch it, this has been a trick used to defraud many customers by these criminals.
4. Use Strong Passwords: For safe online shopping ensure to create strong passwords for your online accounts, use passwords with mixed characters, numbers, special characters, upper case and lower case letter etc. For tips on how to create strong passwords, click here. Strong passwords will make it difficult for anyone to gain access into your online accounts. Do not use one password for all your online accounts, avoid sharing your passwords with people and do not make online shopping from public computers. Even if you do, ensure there are no keylogger programs, clear the browser cache, logout your account and restart the computer if possible.
5. Read what other have to say: For safe online shopping during this Christmas, try and find out about the site you want to make purchase from, use Google or any other search engine to find out what others are saying about that store or product. A review of the product or store you want to shop from can give you an insight and you can be able to choose which store or product to buy. Avoid fake reviews as “scammers” can go to any length to make you believe they are authentic when they true are not. Give your own reviews for others to read as well.
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I hope the above listed points can help you shop safely online this Christmas or any other time at all. Always abide by all the above mentioned points and be sure you can avoid being scammed. Do you have any other points to add to the above listed ones? How have you stayed safe shopping online? Please share with me using the comment form below. Remember to subscribe to my RSS feeds.