Holiday Season Awareness & Prevention Tips | Part Four
Holiday Season Awareness & Prevention Tips Series | Online Shopping
Holiday Season Awareness & Prevention Tips | December 21, 2020
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The holidays are here again so what does that mean? Shopping madness! Here is a list of safety tips that is as important as your gift list! Be sure to carefully review this list twice before you shop online.
Instead of traditionally going to crowded malls, due to the pandemic, many will be shopping from the safety of their home.
According to a research, 73 percent of consumers plan to use their computer or mobile device to research or make purchases this holiday season.
Beware! Fraudsters are lurking in the dark and often set up fake e-commerce sites this time of year.
[Slide shows content: Tips For Online Shoppers]
1. Think twice before you click
When you see ads encouraging you to click on links or popping up in your social media feeds. Keep in mind that many of these links can be scams.
To be more safe, always go directly to the company’s website (check the URL address) to verify the offer is legitimate.
2. Don’t fall for enticing offers
Prior to making a purchase online, read the customer reviews to hear what others say about the merchant. Are people happy with their purchase? Or are they claiming that the product is not what it turns out to be? How many reviews are there? A couple reviews compared to a few hundred reviews?
Look for a physical location of the retailer and any customer service information. If in doubt, call the merchant or store directly to confirm they are legitimate.
3. Beware of naughty ads, apps, and emails
Some holiday shopping-themed apps out there are malicious and either carrying malware or looking to steal your payment or personal information.
Best to stick with the official app stores like Google Play and Galaxy Apps, and only shop using official retailer apps. Also be careful what permissions you grant the apps you use.
Some emails might look like they come from a company you know but always double check the URL address of the links before you click on anything! That includes the images.
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4. Use safe payment options
Using a credit card to make online purchases for added security.
Use a third party payment service like Apple Pay to pay for purchases without giving the merchant your credit card information directly.
5. Watch what information you share
Be alert to the kinds of information you are asked for to complete your transaction.
If the merchant is requesting more data than you feel comfortable sharing, you can cancel the transaction and seek another merchant.
You only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
Do not save your payment information in your profile. If the site autosaves it, login and delete the stored payment details.
6. Check twice (and more!)
Keep a close watch on your bank and credit card statements throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Continuously check for any unauthorized activity and alert your financial institution right away if you suspect fraud.
Way to set up a monitoring activity is to set up account alerts, so you will be notified about certain activities on your debit or credit card, like a foreign transaction or large purchase.
7. Keep your devices safe and secure
Make sure all of your devices are up-to-date and free from malware by running only the most current versions of software, apps and antivirus protection.
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8. Use secure Wi-Fi
Do not shop while using public Wi-Fi to make purchases! Hackers lurk around public Wi-Fi. Fraudsters can steal your financial and personal information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Best to wait until you get home to make your purchase or use your phone as a hotspot.
9. Put your logins on lock down
Create long and unique passwords or passphrases for all of your accounts and don’t use the same login for multiple sites.
Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible, such as a unique one-time code sent to your phone or mobile device.
10. Ship to a secure location
The increase in online shopping has also led to an increase of home deliveries—and a rise in package thefts right at your front door.
If no one will be home to accept a package, consider shipping to your office or another safe place.
UPS, Amazon and FedEx all now have shipping lockers available for secure deliveries.
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