Black Friday has come and gone. Shoppers continue to search high and low for great deals, and online retailers are gearing up for what hopes to be a record breaking sales season. There is a strong possibility that you will receive opinions and offers from your Facebook friends or pages that you have “liked.”
So, as you take a small break from Facebook or other social networks to do a little online shopping, use some common sense safety precautions to help ensure you keep yourself and your wallet safe.
- Update your antivirus software and run a complete scan of your system.
- Update your web browser to the latest edition – newer browsers have better security features.
- If your financial institution passwords are weak, change them to a more secure one.
- If available from your financial institution, use one time use credit card numbers, an additional PIN number or other improved security controls.
- Only shop at reputable online retailers. Avoid smaller, lesser known sites unless you are sure of their reputation.
- Only shop at ssl encrypted sites. These sites will have “https” in the address and should have the “lock” icon somewhere in the browser window.
- Don’t click on links or “special” offers in email messages. Go directly to web sites to verify the deals being offered.
- Do not enter credit card information on public wifi networks or on public computers.
- Shop with a credit card instead of a debit card. You have better dispute rights if you don’t receive an item, and many credit cards have zero liability policies for fraudulent purchases.
- Be aware of return policies before completing your order, and keep good documentation of any completed transactions.
- Exercise sound judgment and good common sense. If a deal sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.
If you have any tips to help online shoppers stay safe, leave them in the comments area below.