22 Apr

Online Shopping Tips

Tis the season to start shopping online so I need to warn you to be diligent and cautious as you look for that special deal. A recent survey from PriceGrabber tells us that 41 percent of consumers will shop online on Cyber Monday 2012. That is up from 37 percent from last year.

This also means that the cyber criminals will be out in force looking for ways to rip you off. Below are a few tips I combined published from the FTC and Trend Micro to avoid getting into trouble when using your phone or computer to shop online.

  • Use strong passwords and use unique passwords for your most sensitive websites
  • Scan your mobile devices regularly for malicious apps.
  • Don’t click on links in emails; rely on bookmarks for sensitive sites instead.
  • Watch out for fake apps that are posing for more popular, real apps.
  • Be wary of free apps that ask for too much personal information.
  • Go easy on promo links. If it’s too good to be true, it likely is.
  • Use remote security apps to backup and wipe your phone or laptop in case you lose it.
  • Use Parental Control features to monitor what information your kids might be giving out.
  • Know who you’re dealing with by confirming the online seller’s physical address and phone number
  • Don’t give out your credit card or other financial information in exchange for an offer.
  • Don’t email your financial information because it isn’t a secure way to transmit numbers
  • Public WiFi? Don’t assume that public “hot spots” are secure. Unless you can verify that a hot spot has effective security measures in place, you may not want to send sensitive information like your credit card number over that network.
  • Pay by credit or charge card because they offer the best consumer protections.
  • Free can be costly – Free screen savers, e-cards, or other seasonal downloads could carry dangerous viruses.
  • If you are ever confused about what you are doing online, please call me and I will help you figure it out. Happy Shopping!