Five Tips for Safe Online Shopping


Five Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Holiday shopping can be so much fun! It’s always exciting to find your friends and family the perfect gift, and one way you can do that is by shopping online.

But with online shopping comes a unique set of challenges. Scammers and thieves like to target online shoppers, so it’s important to be vigilant and careful when shopping online. Here are five tips to help make sure that your online shopping endeavors are safe and secure.


1. Research the sites you buy from. If you’re thinking of buying something from a new site or a vendor you’ve never worked with before, take the time to really research them. Trying searching the site name alongside terms like “scam” or “legit.” Your fellow shoppers online are often quick to call out sites that are illegitimate or engaging in shady business practices. Taking time to research before you buy can really save you trouble later!

2. Use a credit card when shopping online. Credit cards aren’t for everyone, but they are a bit safer for online shopping. If you’re using a debit card and the card is compromised, you may be giving thieves direct access to the day-to-day funds you use in your checking account. If you’d used a credit card, the thieves would have access to a line of credit but not your day-to-day funds. Regardless of what kind of card you use, be sure to reach out to your financial institution if you see strange activity on your card!

3. Say goodbye to auto-fill. If you do a lot of shopping online, it can be tempting to have your computer or phone auto-fill your address, card number, name, passwords, and more. But if someone were to steal your phone or break into your home, they would have direct access to your accounts. In addition, eliminating auto-fill can be a great way to save money by cutting down on impulse buys.

4. Look for the HTTPS. The HTTP you see at the front of a URL stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol, and when you see an S at the end, that means the site is secure. Never shop at a website that isn’t secure.

5. Beware of false charities. The holiday season isn’t just a time of giving gifts. It’s also a time when many people like to donate money to causes that are important to them. Be certain to research any charity you want to donate to, especially one that’s new or benefiting a current crisis. Scammers often prey upon the generous, making them believe they’re donating to an important cause while the scammers steal the money.


And don’t forget: if you’re ever concerned about activity on your account or a certain transaction, reach out to your financial institution! Your banker is always ready to help. Happy shopping!

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