Online shopping is more popular than ever and with powerful smartphones, making holiday purchases while you are waiting in line or watching TV couldn’t be easier. This also means that consumers should pay attention to security concerns and make sure that their personal and financial information is protected. Here are some best practices to follow that will make sure your holiday shopping experience is safe and secure:
Do Your Research
Even if you are trying to purchase an obscure gift that can only be found on a few specialty sites, make sure that you trust the company. If at all possible shop with major names that have spent time building consumer trust and investing in security measures. Remember that sites like Amazon sell practically anything, so you don’t have to venture off to the dark corners of the internet and take your chances with a lesser known site.
Shop Secure Sites
Any site that accepts credit cards should have an SSL encryption. This is a fundamental layer of protection. Look for domain names that begin with Https:// rather than just Http://. The additional “s” indicates that the site has SSL. Also, be on the lookout for a lock symbol that will appear in the status bar or towards the bottom of the page. This is another signal that the site is secure and safe to shop.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to sharing your personal information and shopping online:
- Never provide your credit card information through email
- You should never have to provide your social security number to make a purchase
- The same goes for your birthday
The less information you share, the better. If it ever feels like a store is asking for too much, trust your gut and move onto another site.
Following these simple guidelines will help you stay safe throughout the holiday shopping season. You can search for gifts online and purchase with confidence on your smartphone or other mobile device.