Who doesn’t like to shop online? You can do it in your pajamas, you get great deals, it’s a way to get mail that isn’t a bill and you don’t have to brush your hair.
There are, however, some pitfalls with shopping online, but if you know how to protect yourself, you can just sit back and enjoy the experience. Here are some safe online shopping tips.
1. Use the latest version of Firefox. With every update comes more security. If you’re using an older browser, you’re putting yourself at greater risk. An update is so simple — either download the latest version or go to to Firefox > About Firefox to see if you’re up to date.
3. Know if the site is secure. There are two quick and easy things to look for when shopping a site. First, does the URL start with HTTPS (instead of HTTP)? And second, is there a “lock” icon on the status bar that shows that you are on a secured website?
4. Pay with credit. When it comes time to pay for that new gadget/shirt/toy, use credit instead of debit. Many credit cards offer fraud protection that debit doesn’t. A disposable card or gift card is even better, because the funds are limited to a specific amount.
5. Be the master of your own information. Storing your information on a trusted site sure does make things easier when you come back to buy again. If you read the news, however, you’ll see that even secure sites can occasionally fall prey to hackers. Also, there’s no need for a shopping site to know your birthday, your ID number, etc. That information, along with your credit card number, is ID-heaven to a thief. Keep your personal information, well, personal.
6. Use a super strong password. If your shopping password is 1234, you’re vulnerable to being hacked. Use a phrase with numbers and special characters. For example, “Ireadthedenblog2” is a strong password.
7. Shop at home. Don’t use public computers to enter personal information.
8. Check your statements. It’s a good idea to do this monthly. Make sure the charges on your credit cards went to pay for things that you got to enjoy — not someone else.
Holiday shopping time is upon us. Shop smart and shop safe online!