If you’re alive and breathing and celebrate a holiday for which you purchase gifts, then this article is right in your wheelhouse.
More often than not, buying gifts online is the way to go. No lines, no angry shoppers vying for the same goods, no cranky sales clerks, and an endless selection of whatever gift genre you’re purchasing from.
Now that you’re convinced that holiday shopping online is the way to go, let’s talk about how you can make sure that your shopping experience is entirely on the up-and-up and ensure that you don’t run into any devastating schemes to steal your personal information and/or hard-earned cash. We trust CouponCodeDay, however, you can choose your site by following the below-mentioned tips for safe holiday online shopping.
- Start with websites you trust
There are a ton of reputable websites that you can do your shopping at. From the websites of big-box retailers to online-only merchants, we’re finally at a point in the trajectory of online shopping in which there really aren’t a shortage of websites with good reputations. That said…
- Check out the business’ reputation
If you’re about to purchase from a company from the first time, do a quick web search to verify that business’ credentials. There are plenty of places that you can visit online that will give you a quick overview of their reputation, from the Better Business Bureau to any number of review sites. If they have a bad rating from the BBB or 1.5 stars on any of the review sites, dig a bit deeper before forking over your money.
- Be smart about your own security
This is the biggest area of them all, and it should be the easiest for you to control.
First of all, don’t use public wireless networks, or Wi-Fi. While public Wi-Fi can be great for browsing the internet at your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, or bookstore, avoid putting any personal or financial information into your browser while on these networks. Theoretically, anyone could jump onto the network and grab your info.
Also, even if you’re on a private Wi-Fi network, be sure to use strong passwords for anything and everything that you log into. You should never use the same passwords for multiple sites, and it’s best if you include several upper and lowercase letters combined with numbers or symbols. Don’t include personal info or items that are easy to guess, either.
Lastly, don’t give out any more information than you have to. If you’re simply buying a product, the merchant will never need personal identifying info, and especially not anything like your social security number.
- Pay with a credit card and keep an eye on your statement
Avoid using your debit card if you’re online shopping, simply because it’s usually easier to get your fraud protection on a credit card versus your bank’s debit card.
Once you’ve begun making purchase, make sure to pay attention to your credit card statements. If you pay attention throughout the month on your card’s online platform that’s ideal, as you can notice anything fraudulent or out of the ordinary in short order. But at the very least, be sure to pay close attention to your statement at the end of your billing period.
Above all else, use common sense. There is no substitute for simply being smart and being careful. Know the sites your visiting, check their credentials and reputation, and take measures to protect your own security.
And then … happy shopping!