Tips for Shopping at Home – Safely and Securely

December 11th, 2020

It used to be a luxury to be able to sit on the couch and shop. Now it is more of a necessity. Check out the Naughty & Nice list of Online Shopping for a safe and secure shopping experience.

Naughty Nice
  • Clicking on that Ad on Facebook from an unknown retailer
  • Shopping at trusted known retailers directly from their websites or mobile apps.
  • Oversharing your personal info because the retailer asked for it
  • Never entering extra personal information when buying online
  • Buying gift cards from an auction site like eBay
  • Purchasing a gift card from the source
  • Shopping online through an unsecure Wi-Fi link
  • Shopping online with a secure VPN solution and using a mobile payment app such as Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay so you don’t have to input your credit card on the site.
  • Not checking your statements
  • Verifying charges on your statements
  • Using the same password on for your online banking as for the online retailers
  • Using a password manager and keeping all of your passwords different for each site.
  1. Stick to what you know.

    Go to familiar websites for your shopping and be aware of counterfeit sites. Bad actors create knock-off websites to try to fool you into giving them your information. Verify that it is Microsoft.com or Apple.com and not “.net”. Facebook and Instagram are great apps for connecting, but before you give your information and your money, know who you are dealing with. Don’t just click and buy. You can verify this by looking at the profile and checking the retailer’s website from your computer.

  2. Keep it to yourself.

    Retailers do not need your birthdate, Social Security Number, or other personal data to complete your purchase. If they ask for it, leave the site.

  3. Stocking Stuffers

    Everyone is looking for a good deal, but when it comes to gift cards go to the source (online or brick and mortar stores). Fraudsters like to auction gift cards on sites like eBay that are partially (or completely) used, and you won’t know that until you buy and receive the item!

  4. Sneaky little listeners

    Use a virtual private network (VPN) solution when shopping online. A VPN is like a secure tunnel that your information is processed through from your device to the internet location, so those sneaky fraudsters can’t grab your credit card information without you knowing. You can be even more secure by using a mobile payment solution such as PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay so you aren’t giving the retailer your credit card information at all.

  5. Checking it twice

    No one likes to look at their bank statements, but when you are shopping online it is very important to verify that what was charged to your account was what you authorized. Keep an eye on your transactions and report anything out of the ordinary to your bank.

  6. A different key for every door

    Use a different and unique password for every online website. If you use a password for online shopping at Amazon and only for Amazon, then if that website is hacked, the criminals can try that username and password on another platform – but it won’t work because it was only used for that one location. A password manager is a software solution that securely manages all your logins and associated passwords so you don’t have to worry about forgetting the login for that favorite online retailer.

Do your part to avoid fraud. #BeCyberSmart.

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