Holiday Shopping Online: 5 Safety Tips

Person shopping online.Shopping online has made getting things for yourself and gifts for others easier than ever. This is true all year long, but especially during the holiday season where gifts for family, friends, and co-workers means your credit card and internet can be working overtime. And while all this money is flying around, there will be those online who want to take advantage of your spending spree. Keep your wallet and your gifts safe with these cyber safety tips for holiday shopping online.

1. Keep an Eye Out for Suspicious Emails

You’ll see a lot of holiday sales in your email inbox, but not all of them are equal. Some of them might not even be safe. If you see a great deal from a website you’ve never heard of (or a familiar website with a strange URL), it might not be wise to click on that link. It could be part of a “phishing” scams, which leads shoppers to a false website that can steal your personal and financial data. If you’re not sure, double check the URL on your browser before proceeding.

2. Keep Your Devices Secure

Keep that phone of yours locked, along with your laptop or tablet. These devices contain more than just photos and phone numbers: you’ve most likely bought something through on these devices so that information is stored on them. Also, make sure you’re doing your deals on a secure network, such as at most work or home networks. Public network? Leave off at window shopping.

3. Check Out Vendor Reviews

The online shopping platforms of Google, Amazon, and eBay all host vendors that sell their own goods. Before you click your buy button, check the reviews and reputation of the vendor who’s selling. If there have been complaints of empty boxes or damaged goods, buy from someone else.

4. Change and Improve Your Passwords

Keep your eyes on the news about data breaches, and change your password if a website you use gets hacked. Since some of these breaches are only discovered after the fact, it’s a good idea to change your password occasionally. When you do, try and make longer passwords and put a number, symbol, and capital letter in it.

5. Security and Apps

When your software has updates, it’s not only for a new feature or bug fixes: many updates also help patch security vulnerabilities that hackers can or have used. And when it comes to downloading apps, make sure it’s vetting not only from an official store but also by your security system (which you also need to keep up to date for the latest malware definitions).

Stay and secure during the holidays and year-round, both online and offline. With cyber and homeowners insurance, TJ Woods Insurance can help with keeping you safe at work and at home. If you’d like to learn more about the services we offer, make sure to contact us. Have a safe time online, and we hope you find a gift for everyone (and something for yourself).