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Cyber Monday: Online Shopping Safety Tips

blog-default As you find yourself in the middle of the holiday season, you're likely to do a fair amount of shopping. If you're not a fan of busy stores in packed malls, you may be opting to complete your holiday purchases online. Though this is an easy and convenient method, it also comes with risks. Hackers may be able to gain your card information and make fraudulent charges. In the world of online shopping, home security goes beyond physical safety and ventures into cyber safety. 

Use the right card The first and perhaps most essential step in online shopping safety is making use of the right card. If you own a credit card, always use it for online purchases instead of your debit card. This way, should information thieves manage to get ahold of your card number, any fraudulent charges they may make are paid by the credit card company. If you were to use your debit card, the money would come directly out of your personal account. Reporting fraud can be a tedious procedure that can be doubly frustrating and complicated if the charges come from your banking account. Additionally, it may take your bank a longer time to replace lost funds to a personal account. 

Make sure the site is trustworthy You may come across a situation where the perfect item is available through a lesser-known website. Before you enter your information, research the site and see if it's run by trustworthy people. More often than not, you'll be able to find others who have used the site and will advise you on its credibility. If a site has mixed reviews, play it safe and don't make any purchases from it. It may be a headache to think of another suitable gift, but it's a smaller one than you'll have if you're forced to deal with fraud.

Be wary of online bidding A popular item is often cheaper on bidding sites and it can be tempting to buy the product immediately before it's snatched away. However, it's important to find out the credibility and reliability of the seller. Look for buyer ratings and reviews to determine whether or not you should do business with the seller. If there are mixed reviews, you're likely better off getting the item for a higher price from a more reputable site.

There are many security factors to consider when shopping online, but exercising restraint and conducting some research will help keep you safe this holiday season.