Tis the season! With the holidays just around the corner, many start focusing on shopping for that perfect gift for everyone on their list. Unfortunately, the joy of the season can be stolen away in the most Grinch-like fashion by con artists and online holiday scams. Here are a few tips to keep your online shopping experience merry and bright:
- Use websites you trust and are familiar with. Even then, you should make sure that you are on the real website. Don’t click links sent to you in emails. Go directly to the company website.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi. When shopping online you give out information that could be intercepted by an identity thief. Refrain from doing your shopping on the Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop or library.
- Use complex passwords. Use combinations of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Never use personal information that someone may be able to guess such as your birthday, your kids’ names or your street name.
- Pay with a credit card. Chances are that your credit card has the best liability protection for both online and offline purchases. Federal regulations guard against you having to pay for fraudulent purchases while the credit card company investigate the claims.
- Check your statements. While it may be a daunting task to go line by line on your credit card statement, it can certainly help you report any fraudulent charges in a timely manner in order to get them taken care of quickly.
By keeping these few tips in mind, you can enjoy the online holiday shopping experience with less stress. Now the only thing to worry about is what to get those sweet grandbabies for Christmas.