Posted on 12/20/2018 at 10:02 AM
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for online shopping. Let’s be real though, the holidays are not the only time of the year we shop online. With online shopping becoming more and more prevalent, it’s important that we make sure that the websites we are buying from are safe and secure. Just as your credit card information can be stolen when you check out at an actual store location, the same can happen online. Here are some tips for staying safe while shopping online.
Make Sure the Website is Secure
When you’re looking at your shopping cart and thinking about entering your credit card information, take a look at the address bar. If you see that the web address begins with HTTPS, rather that HTTP, and there is a lock icon in the address bar, that is a sign that the website is secure. The ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’ and means that the website is using an SSL certificate. The SSL encrypts your information so that scammers cannot see your credit card number, your password, or other sensitive data that you may be required to enter.
Shop in a Safe Spot
Don’t shop while using unsecured public WIFI or in a public place where others can see you entering your credit card information. You don’t need a password to access unsecured public WIFI, so any hacker or scammer might be logged on right along with you. You don’t want to be entering in your credit card information or private details – they might not end up private. And it probably goes without saying, but if you’re sitting in the open entering your details into a checkout page, someone could be sitting close enough to see. All they need to do is copy your numbers down and they’re good to go. Use your own personal WIFI, or at least connect somewhere you know is safe. And if you are shopping online in public, make sure nobody is peeking over your shoulders.
Look up the Seller
If the website is not one you’ve frequented before, or if it looks questionable, do a little digging. You can visit the Better Business Bureau to search the company and see if it is a business you can trust. You can also read through Google reviews of the company, and other reviews that you might find online. If they don’t have a rating, or there are an overwhelming number of bad reviews, you may want to rethink shopping that site.
Check your Credit Card Statements
Keep an eye on your credit card statements. If a scammer does manage to get your information, you’ll want to know before they do too much damage. Make a note of any unusual purchases and notify your credit card company. Many credit card companies have a fraud alert that will lock your card if they suspect fraudulent purchases, but either way you’ll want to reach out to them to let them know your card information has been stolen.
Not necessarily shopping but have a shopping site of your own that you want to secure? Reach out to us at Global Reach and we can get started on an e-commerce solution perfect for you!