Shopping online is convenient. And with Cyber Monday approaching, you’ll also find good deals. But you can also face some danger.
Consolidated Credit has always been a big supporter of Internet security, but it’s not always easy to find straightforward, simple-to-read advice for how to shop safely online. So we were happy to locate a concise Online Shopping Guide from a company called AVG.
While AVG wants you to pay for its anti-virus software, the company has made the shopping mini-website free to read, without any hard-sell sales pitches (although you will see a couple, just ignore those and read on). We especially like the Do’s and Don’ts page from Home Telecom which urges you…
- “Select sellers. Most people use a search engine to find a specific item. However, statistics show that approximately three results per search engine page are fraudulent sites looking to steal your personal information. Head directly to retailer’s websites or use convenient price-comparison sites. Always check for the https:// in the URL to guarantee your information is transmitted privately. Never make a purchase from a site unless it has an SSL certificate.”
- “Consider setting up a separate email address for retailers.”
- “Scam sites may ask you to enter credit card information or directly transfer funds. These often appear in unsolicited emails. Even if the email appears to be from a legitimate retailer, go directly to their site to peruse deals instead of clicking email links..”
- “Always check credit card bills. Review credit card accounts regularly or sign up for your credit card to email or text you all purchases or authorizations. Put online receipts in a separate email folder, so you can easily crosscheck amounts.”
- “Don’t settle for the top results of your search. Advertisers and marketers work diligently to place their tricky deals to the very top of search results, hoping you’ll assume the stuff on top is the best.”
- ” If your tablet or Smart Phone asks to remember passwords, always select “no.” If you lose your phone, someone will have access to all your saved credit card information.”
- “Review credit card accounts regularly or sign up for your credit card to email or text you all purchases or authorizations. Put online receipts in a separate email folder, so you can easily crosscheck amounts.”
Some of this advice is echoed in the Consolidated Credit Holiday Survival Guide, which also offers in-depth tips for saving on the perfect gifts – and even includes a worksheet for all your holiday expenses. It, too, is free. And if you need a quick reference to keeping yourself while shopping for Cyber Monday, Consolidated Credit offers a helpful infographic on staying cyber safe.