Online Safety Tips for Holiday Shopping
Instead of flocking to crowded malls and shopping centers, many people are opting to stay in the comfort of their own home to purchase their holiday gifts. While online shopping is consistently increasing, so are the number of cybercrimes and scams. In fact, since COVID-19, the US FBI reported a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes.(1)
To keep your digital profile and data safe and secure, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips and precautions to take while online shopping this year.
Don’t use public wifi
Although it’s convenient, using public wifi opens you and your information up to hundreds of lurking hackers. Instead, always use password protected wifi or a personal hotspot.
Stay away from unfamiliar websites and retailers
Sometimes it seems like these sites have exactly what we’ve been searching for, but be weary before clicking on ads in your social feeds. Oftentimes these sites are scams, or produce low quality products. You’re better off spending a little more money and shopping from trusted, well known sources.
Monitor your credit card statement
We know looking through credit card statements can be tedious, but it’s worth doing. Search through your recent transactions to make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary. If it does, be sure to call your credit card company immediately to see what policies they have in place when it comes to fraud.
Only shop on secure websites
You can tell a website is secure by looking at the URL in the address bar. You will either see a secured padlock icon, or the URL will start with HTTPS (instead of HTTP). If you don’t see these indicators, think twice before entering any kind of personal information, including your credit card number.
Avoid phishing scams
When in doubt, don’t click. You can avoid phishing scams by not opening emails from unknown senders. Additionally, don’t click on any holiday “deals” or “discount” promotions that seem too good to be true– they probably are.
Protect your personal information
No retailer will ever need your social security number in order to complete a purchase, and unfortunately providing this information often leads to identity theft. Instead, call their customer service line to speak with a representative or exit the website and make your purchase elsewhere.
Additionally, you may want to consider a cyber insurance endorsement for added coverage. This will give you peace of mind knowing that if you do experience a security breach, you’ll be covered.
Contact one of our agents today for a no-obligation review of your policy. Our goal is to be sure you have the best coverage for you and your loved ones this holiday season.