According to a recent Salesforce study, 63% of consumers reported that the way they obtain goods and services has transformed during 2020 and 58% percent of consumers expect to do more online shopping after the pandemic than before. This year, perhaps more than ever, many people will be doing their holiday shopping comfortably from their couches as we see a lasting increase in the popularity of online shopping.
We’ve all grown intimately familiar with the best safety measures to protect ourselves and our families this year, and that same level of precaution should be used when preparing for holiday shopping. As online shopping numbers go up, unfortunately so does the number of scammers waiting to take advantage of unsuspecting online shoppers.
Know how to tell if a site is secure
Some websites are safer than others. Before you make a purchase, look at the web address of the site you’re shopping on. You’ll want to be sure you see a lock symbol before your web address and remember that the URL should have an “s” after the initial “http” to indicate that you’re visiting a secure site. Don’t enter personal information on any site that doesn’t have this visible layer of security.
Use your credit card when possible
In the event that something does go wrong during your online shopping this holiday season, you can feel confident knowing that most credit cards, or secure payment processing services like PayPal, have your back when it comes to fraudulent charges. Credit cards offer an added level of protection without the direct link to your bank account that comes with using your debit card. Check your personal settings – most credit cards offer security features to alert you immediately to anything they might consider “suspicious” activity.
Stick to secured networks
This is likely easier to do this year, when you’re shopping mostly from home, but if you find yourself out and about, be wary of joining unsecured wireless networks. Public networks make you visible to data thieves that are looking for an easy target, so if you must get online from a new unsecured network (a network without a password is one you want to avoid), be sure you leave any online banking or shopping for when you’re on a network you trust.
Update your software
That pop-up you’ve been ignoring might be reminding you that it’s time for an important update that will add an extra level of protection to your computer or mobile device. Stop stalling, and approve the update for an added level of security in all your online activities. Updates are designed to identify vulnerabilities, add a layer of security, and help combat attempts to access your information (among other things).
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