Due to the pandemic, this holiday season may look and feel a bit different, but we all still need to be aware of the potential dangers online shopping can bring and the ways we can protect ourselves. Delete them, don’t click on any links, and don’t open any attachments from individuals or businesses you are unfamiliar with. Here are some tips on how: That small lock icon in the corner of your URL bar tells you that the web page you’re on has privacy protection installed. Firefox is a trademark of Mozilla Foundation. . Make sure you know how the vendor handles returns, if at all. Did you know? Call 1.800.651.4126 Don’t prioritize deals over your data and stay alert to … Make sure to ship your packages to a secure location and try to be home when they are delivered to keep these “porch pirates” from stealing your gifts. “Securing Your Web Browser.” Accessed Dec. 9, 2020. Or just walk away and find a better-known, accommodating website for your holiday buys. While most transactions will be uneventful, security on those purchases is not a given. Don’t use personal information that others can find or guess, such as birthdates, your kids’ names, or your favorite color. While it may be convenient to store personal and payment information in your online accounts, it does come with risk. The holidays are just around the corner, and that means many of us will be making purchases online to avoid large crowds and busy mall traffic looking for a safer way to shop due to COVID-19. Look for seals of approval by agencies such as the Better Business Bureau to confirm a vendor's reputation. Make sure you check return policies. Would you know if your Social Security number was being used? Since you're buying the item sight unseen, and it has to be transported, there's always a chance things don't work out. The URL will start with “https.” These websites mask any data you share, typically on pages that ask for passwords or financial information. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our. Help keep your account safe by securing it with a strong password — “Santa123” won’t do. Check your statements for fraudulent charges at least once a week or set up account alerts. Here's one way you can tell: There should be a letter "s" after the "http" in the web address and you should also see a closed padlock icon to the left of the browser address. But if someone uses your account and you don’t report the theft, after 60 days you may not be reimbursed at all. Being aware of your surroundings is indeed a great advantage to keep you far from harm’s way. Norton LifeLock offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. These are different from debit and credit cards because the money isn’t connected to your credit history or to a bank account. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. Take care that your personal information is secure when shopping online by only shopping on secure websites. Take precautions to make sure your personal information is secure when shopping online. Safe holiday online shopping tips Nov 27, 2017 One of the biggest obstacles to online shopping is the fear of fraud or a security scam and that can be an issue regardless of whether you’re shopping from a web browser or a mobile app. What Is Personally Identifiable Information (PII)? Sometimes, something in your email in-box can stir your holiday consumer cravings. Installing antivirus software and keeping your browser updated can help mitigate some online security risks. Shopping Online. So how do you fill your online carts with all of the seasonal decorations, gifts, and scented pinecones without compromising your cybersecurity? The digital wallet obscures your payment card information so the merchant sees a unique, one-time code that’s only good for that purchase. Doing so can help ensure that your holiday season can be merry, bright, and safe from cybercrooks. However, a growing percentage of holiday sales will happen online this year as many people look for a safer way to shop due to COVID-19. Attention, holiday shoppers: You’ll usually get the best liability protection — online and offline — when you use a credit card. Some retail websites may not be equipped to secure your info, which could leave your personal details and payment card data vulnerable to cyberthieves or data breaches. It might be best to generate a new number every time you buy something online, or when you shop with a new retailer. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other big sales along the way have become a tradition of holiday shopping. The number one way to protect your device and data is to install mobile anti-virus software and make sure it is up to date. Protect yourself against malicious mobile apps by only downloading apps from reputable stores, such as Galaxy Apps, the App Store, Amazon App Store and Google Play. Criminals use these apps to infiltrate smartphones and do any number of things, like direct users to fraudulent premium subscription services or automatically subscribing users to expensive content providers without the user’s consent. Still can’t resist the lure of shopping online while sipping that peppermint latte? Up to $149 billion: online holiday shopping sales for 2019 (projected), from November to January. Online purchase scams, which can expose your identity and even drain your wallet, are the riskiest form of consumer fraud, according to a report published by the Better Business Bureau. But if a website offers a deal that seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Always use a credit card instead of a debit card when making purchases online, if you can. A VPN creates an encrypted connection between your smartphones and computers and the VPN server. Rock-bottom prices could be a red flag that the business doesn’t have those items in stock. If you don't have an antivirus program installed on your computer, that is the place to start before you shop and give out sensitive personal information such as your credit card number. For instance, it might be tempting to open an email from an unfamiliar business that promises a “special offer.” But that offer could be special in a bad way. LifeLock identity theft protection sees more threats to your identity, like your personal info on the dark web. USA.gov. Here’s why. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. enroll in minutes. To ensure a smooth online shopping experience, take heed to these following five safety tips: Look for the lock: Always use a secure Internet connection when making a … Investigate the authenticity of the brand. The holiday season is a prime time for hackers, scammers, and online thieves. Did you know that consumers are vulnerable to having their identity stolen? That’s why it’s best to either skip the autofill option or try using a password manager, which provides an extra layer of protection to your account info. Ship to a secure location 2. Do not leave your purse in your shopping cart or on a counter – not even for a moment. Cyber and Privacy Insurance provide coverage from losses resulting from a data breach or loss of electronically-stored confidential information. To play it safe, consider doing online business only with retailers you trust and have shopped with before. Use a complex set of at least 10 lowercase and uppercase numbers, letters, and symbols. Avoid buying something online using your payment details from a website that does not have a secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption installed. From the convenience of making purchases at your fingertips and next-day delivery to getting great deals and an the endless catalogue of purchasable items, online shopping has only grown in popularity. Installing antivirus software and keeping your browser updated can … On the web, some businesses are fabricated by people who just want your credit card information and other personal details. 3. When you receive a text or email about a charge, you can check the message and likely easily recall whether you recognize the charge and made the purchase. If someone racks up unauthorized charges on your credit card, federal regulations say you won’t have to pay while the card company investigates. Clicking on emails from unknown senders and unrecognizable sellers could infect your computer with viruses and malware. Most major credit cards offer $0 liability for fraudulent purchases. Consider using a password manager to generate and safely store those strong, complex passwords. 14 Tips for Safe Online Shopping. It’s important to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online. Millennials were the biggest spenders on Black Friday 2019. With a little tech know-how and the freely available Wi-Fi password at your favorite cafe, someone can intercept the data you send and receive while on free public Wi-Fi. Holiday online shopping safety tips. Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. In 2019 Black Friday saw 93.2 million buyers shopping online. But these transactions don’t always go so smoothly. 2. According to the Better Business Bureau, online purchase scams expose your identity and financial information, which is … Look for Security on the Retailer's Website. 18%: The amount online sales are projected to grow in 2019 compared with 2018. 8% of consumers surveyed in 2018 said they were a victims of identity theft during the holiday season. Other safety tips when shopping this holiday season. And if you become a victim of identity theft, dedicated Identity Restoration Agents will work to fix it. VIDEO 1:07 01:07. Stay Cyber Safe and Keep Your Holidays Jolly As you can see from the holiday shopping safety tips we've shared, good decision-making is key to keeping your personal and financial information secure when shopping online. This is convenient, but it's something you might want to avoid for security reasons—and to help prevent those impulse buys., One of the best things about the internet is the wealth of the information available. It’s better to play it safe. Here are more tips to guarantee your safety during the holiday season. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency. If you don't see these, it is best to try a different merchant.. Time to buy, right? 1. Copyright © 2021 NortonLifeLock Inc. All rights reserved. Consider bringing a security travel pouch instead. The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. The holiday countdown is on and more of us are shopping online, especially during COVID-19. Billions of dollars are spent shopping online ever year. Mobile apps allow you shop for and purchase items while you’re on the go — making holiday shopping a breeze. Safe online shopping tips for the holiday season Safe online shopping tips for the holiday season. Android, Google Chrome, Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google, LLC. You've investigated the vendor and found your item of choice at a great price. Thankfully, the era of online shopping makes getting the … UPS, Amazon, and FedEx all now have shipping lockers available for secure deliveries. How to protect yourself while holiday shopping online and afterward. A zero liability policy absolves a credit or debit cardholder from responsibility for fraudulent charges, but be sure to read the fine print. Stay ahead of online scammers and identity thieves by using these tips to help secure your personal information while shopping online. “The 8 Steps to Safer Online Shopping.” Accessed Dec. 9, 2020. Your internet provider may offer a discounted price as part of your service., Did you find that deal you were looking for? Sarah Michelle Gellar uses this method to … Credit card fraud is a serious problem in the U.S., but using a digital wallet or app, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, or others can increase your transaction security. If no one’s home to accept a package, consider shipping to your office or another safe place. You just load money onto the prepaid debit card, use that balance for purchases and reload when needed. Some vendors offer to create an account for you and save your credit card information for easy ordering. $1007: average amount that American consumers plan to spend on holiday shopping in 2019. 1) Try Not to Carry a Lot of Cash Stealing someone’s debit or credit card takes extra work. Keep your cyber information secure while enjoying safe holiday shopping online. Does the company deliver on time? If you must shop online on public Wi-Fi, consider installing and using a VPN — short for virtual private network — on all mobile devices and computers before connecting to any Wi-Fi network. With a greater percentage of sales taking place online, cybersecurity is an essential consideration. Using a prepaid debit card removes a lot of the risk that goes with online shopping. Maintain social distancing of at least six feet from … You’ll have more protection against fraud with a credit card and funds won’t be drawn directly from your bank account. ... More:Fake apps, fraud take joy out of holiday shopping. How to Help Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft — Because Prevention Is Impossible, Get discounts, info, protection tips, and more, We use the information you provide in accordance with our. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry. You might be tempted to take your shopping spree to a coffee shop for a cup of joe. But to shop online safely, and protect your personal identity from malicious types, take heed of these online shopping safety tips. Stay ahead of online scammers and identity thieves by using these tips to help secure your personal information while shopping online. In this Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo, a person searches the internet for sales, in Miami. While the vendor should have any sales data on their end, the receipt has information that you want to be armed with should you need to call customer service or return a purchase.. Here are the most important recommendations to follow for your holiday shopping: Wear a mask. Unfortunately, it just might be tempted to take steps to protect yourself when shopping online safely, and with. To find out if a scammer gets hold of the following safety tips of their respective owners a software and. In e-commerce, financial fraud climbs, too its affiliates and holiday online shopping safety tips Insurance provide coverage from resulting! People who just want your credit card statements away and find a better-known, accommodating for. A tradition of holiday shopping online scammers to make purchases online, if you unknowingly install an app with! Apple and the VPN server vendor and found your item of choice at a great price card... 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