5 Tips For Safe Shopping Online

As the holiday season is quickly approaching, most people turn their focus to shopping for gifts. While shopping can be fun, buying from the wrong website can ruin the fun fast.

So here are my 5 tips for staying safe when shopping online this holiday season:

Tip #1: See What Others Are Saying

Your first step should always be to check out customer reviews about the website you’re considering purchasing from. If people had a bad time, or ended up getting ripped off, they will sure post a review about it.

Tip #2: Always Look For “https”

Before using your credit card at any website, you must be sure the site is using proper internet security practices.

You can easily see if a website’s order form page is secure and safe to use, by looking at the “address bar” where the site’s dot-com name is. If it begins with “https” you’re good. If it only starts with “http” it’s not secure. And it would be a good idea to shop somewhere else.

Tip #3: Always Use Your Credit Card

Once you’ve determined that a website is using internet security on their order form, go ahead with your order using your credit card. It is NOT a good idea to use debit cards online. Credit cards offer you a lot of protection against fraud. Often you have zero liability for any unauthorized use of your credit card. Most debit cards do not have this protection. Or if yours does, and fraud occurs on your card and they empty your bank account, it could take months to get your money back.

Tip #4: Don’t Shop On Public Computers

When you use a public computer, the sites you visited and any orders you placed reside in the computer’s history. Unless you are really good with computers, you won’t know how to remove your tracks, enabling someone else to sit down where you were and possibly place an order or find out your credit card number.

Tip #5: Don’t Reveal Your Birthday Or Social

Your birth date and social security number are used to identify you when used by legitimate credit, bank and government sites. There’s no reason to reveal these to an online store, where a scammer could end up getting access to it if they’re smart.

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