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Tis' The Season to Online Shop

The holiday season is around the corner and let's be honest, we would rather get our shopping done online then having to go into a store. We all want to snag the deals, save money, and avoid the long lines you get stuck in when you go into the store, you also get the joys of your items showing up right to your door!

While you hear a lot of talk about staying safe while shopping in person, we are hear to chat about four simple things you can do to stay safe while getting your holiday shopping completed! Using some basic guidelines will help you shop with comfort and confidence.

Use Familiar Sites

Start your shopping with a trusted and known website. Amazon, Walmart, Kohls, Target etc. are all well known trusted sites. When you go into your web browser and search for your site, you may see some that look like what you want but they'll have the word Ad underneath. Try to avoid Ad links. Anyone can buy add space on the internet and use it for whatever they want. The we address you're looking for may be the one below it. Also be aware of the domain being different, they may try and trick you by using a .net or a .org. If you're struggling to find your desired website and you are not seeing it on the first page of results, the chances of it being on the second page is slim to none. Stick to sites you know and if you aren't sure - don't order!

Avoid Giving Unnecessary Information

If you tend to overshare it's okay. Lets try to avoid oversharing AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE on the internet though! For no reason should a website or e-tailer needs information such as your birthday or social security number to place an order. If they ask - ABORT MISSION!

Giving out this information and adding your credit card information makes it that much easier for a scammer to steal your identity causing more damage then you not getting your new boots or videogame. Be mindful of who you overshare with!

Create Strong Passwords

Passwords are what keep you secure! It's rare for people to change their passwords regularly, some won't even change their password once a year. Using your family pets name may seem sweet and like a good idea but it absolutely is not secure, yes even if you have different variations, you are still vulnerable.

If you struggle to remember strong hard confusing passwords, ask your local tech team for different options to help. You'll probably get told repeatedly to use a password manager. These are often free, easy to use and navigate and save you from being creative and forgetting your new password. Password managers can often auto populate a hard to crack password making you more secure then you've ever been!

The best part about password managers is you are only responsible for remembering one master password!

Avoid Using Public Internet

While public internet is convenient especially for those who maybe don't have it at home, it does lack in the realm of security. Most people are mindful of others privacy however there is always one person that is snoopy, and sticking their nose where they shouldn't. If you're going to online shop at Starbucks or McDonalds be mindful of where you sit, who is around you and who can see your screen.

We would highly recommend that if you have to manually put in your card number then try to sit with your back against a wall putting you in a position to face everyone else. This way, the chances of someone snooping and stealing your card information drops a lot!

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