Online shopping is a wonderful thing. Shop sales, browse your favorite stores, compare prices, all from the comfort of your own home. During the holiday season, online shopping reaches a peak. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the weeks leading up to Christmas always result in major online traffic.
As the holidays near and the frequency of online shopping accelerates, it's important to remember this is also the season for scammers and cyber criminals to target you.
Online shopping can still be a safe and convenient way for you to complete your holiday gift lists – but it's important to stay vigilant.
Remember these online shopping tips to make sure you don't end up with a lump of coal in your bank account this holiday season.
- Conduct research: When using a new website for purchases, read reviews and see if other consumers have had a positive or negative experience with the site.
- When in doubt, throw it out: Links in emails, posts and texts are often the ways cybercriminals try to steal your information or infect your devices.
- Personal information is like money. Value it and protect it: When making a purchase online, be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete the transaction. Make sure you think it is necessary for the vendor to request that information. Remember, you only need to fill out required fields at checkout.
- Use safe payment options: Credit cards are generally the safest option because they allow buyers to seek a credit from the issuer if the product isn't delivered or isn't what was ordered.
- Protect your $$: When shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with https:// indicating extra measures to help secure your information.
- Beware of Fake websites and Phishing emails: Make sue URLs are spelled correctly, and familiarize yourself with how a phishing email is structured. Learn more about Phishing in this blog.
- Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct over open public Wi-Fi connections, including logging on to key accounts, such as email and banking. Adjust the security settings on your device to limit who can access your phone.
For less than $5 a month, Cincinnati Bell offers enhanced protection against viruses, spyware, spam, phishing, andidentity theft. What better time of the year to add a little peace of mind?
Plus, Black Friday has come early! Check out Cincinnati Bell's best holiday offer and get internet security free for 6 months in addition to other merry extras.
The holiday season is short, don’t waste it taking care of fraud or dealing with the repercussions of being hacked or robbed. Stay vigilant, shop smart, and stay safe, and your holiday season will surely be filled with joy!