It seems that you can find absolutely anything online, but unfortunately, this includes cyber threats. No deal is worth getting hacked, so here are some best practices that can help you stay safe while bargain hunting.
When shopping online, large well-known websites are more secure than the smaller, never-heard-of-it sites that a search engine may bring up. Large retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and other mega-companies have a bigger incentive to protect their customers from cyber crimes, so they are more likely to have invested considerable capital in data security. The smaller sites don’t have the resources to spend or the reputation on the line. They may even rip you off.But Be Careful!
Make sure the web address is spelled properly and is using the correct domain in the URL. Hackers generate sites with similar names and URLs to scam their victims. The great deal you just supposedly snagged may allow the site to snag your credentials and financial information.
The next time you visit a website that asks for your credit card information, check the URL again, but this time, check to see that it begins with HTTPS. HTTPS signifies that the usual HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, has an added layer of security, hence the added S. There should also be a padlock icon displayed in your address bar.
These are indications that the site has been encrypted in order to safely process payment information. Sites with just HTTP and without the padlock are more susceptible to having information hijacked during transit.
Many people just visit a store to see if they want an item before ordering it online. Never do your online shopping via public Wi-Fi. These digital minefields are known for their high susceptibility to cyber attack. Never do anything on a public WiFi that involves sensitive personal or financial information.
So, to re-cap: stick to well-known companies, check your URLs carefully, and don’t shop on public WiFi, and you should be able to shop safely!
What’s on your wish list this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!