The holiday season is the perfect time for cybercriminals to take advantage of unsuspecting online shoppers. When you go to the grocery store or local shop, it’s habit to grab your reusable bags, and make sure you’ve safely put away your credit card or cash before heading home with the day’s purchases. Similar precautions need to be taken when you’re shopping online from the comfort of your own home. If you make these simple precautions regular online shopping habits, you’ll be protecting your purchases and personal information.
These basic steps so you’ll be ready to online shopping safely and securely. (including online ticketing, airline booking, hotel reservation, etc.)
- Keep update machines. Before searching for that perfect gift, be sure that all connected devices—including PCs, smart phones, and tablets—are free from malware and infections by running only the most current versions of software and apps.
- Shop reliable websites online. Use the sites of retailers you trust. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
- Conduct research. When using a new website for your online shopping, read reviews and see if other customers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.
- Personal information is like money: value it and protect it. When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember that you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
- Check the address bar. Look for the padlock icon and https:// in the URL before using your credit card online. If using a mobile app, you must use an official app.