10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping this Holiday Season
Updated: Nov. 15, 2016
It’s the most wonderful time of the year...for online shopping. Here are a few online shopping tips to help users have a safe experience when using Xfinity Internet service.
No matter what device you use, whether a PC, Mac, tablet, or mobile phone, make sure it has the latest security software, operating system, and apps. This is a good first layer of defense that should be followed year-round. If you have Xfinity Internet, visit https://constantguard.xfinity.com for the latest on security software and services.
Before you type in sensitive information online, check to make sure it is a "secure" site. Secure sites typically have a closed padlock in the status bar, and the URL will start with HTTPS:// with an "S", not just HTTP://.
Password theft is one of the most common ways hackers can ruin your holiday season. Avoid easy-to-crack passwords by using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use items from your everyday life like your name, street address, or birthday. Also, stay away from passwords like "password" or "123456", and don’t use the same password for multiple sites.
Dedicate one credit card for all of your online shopping needs so it is easy to monitor and manage. Credit cards are generally the safest option because they aren’t directly connected to your bank account, and they can be cut off immediately. Never use a debit card.
Save records of your online purchases, including the product description, price, online receipt, and emails. Once you receive your credit card statements, make sure they match. If there is a discrepancy, call your bank, and report it immediately.
A secure Internet network connection, like in most homes or workplaces, is ideal for online shopping, rather than a coffee shop or on the go where you might expose sensitive information to hackers. Also, as a general rule, avoid using public computers to do any of your online shopping.
During the holidays, your inbox can often be flooded with junk emails with offers for large discounts. Always be cautious of any emails you receive from unknown recipients or offers that seem too good to be true.
Be careful with the information you give out this holiday season. Retailers and others (both legit and fake) are eager to learn about you and your shopping habits in order to better target you as a customer. While there could be perks in the form of discounts, ads, or coupons, remember the more they know, the easier it is to steal your identity. Also, NEVER email your credit card information or send it via social media.
After making a purchase, remember to log off of the retailer’s site. Also, turn off your computer or device when you are finished shopping. This is particularly important if you are using a shared computer or device with others in your home.
If it’s not a big name brand, make sure the vendor is legit before purchasing an item. Check for credentials like a physical address and online reviews.