Consolidated Credit Recommends: Online Holiday Shopping Guide

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, which urges you…

  1. “Don’t give away your personal data without checking.”
  2. “A good tip is to set up an email address just for online shopping.”
  3. “Never respond to emails that request you provide your credit card info via email – and don’t ever respond to emails that ask you to go to a website to verify personal (and credit card) information – AKA ‘phishing’ scams.”
  4. “Keep records of your online shopping – print confirmation pages and e-mail confirmations.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “Don’t become password complacent: As the end of the year approaches, don’t rely on the familiarity of your current passwords and switch up your passwords on your credit card and bank accounts.”
  7. “Don’t use multiple credit cards: It’s much easier to track transactions and detect suspicious activity if you limit the number of credit cards you use to one or two.”

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.