More people shopping online this year has led to an increase in home deliveries. “Porch pirates”, or thieves who steal packages from doorsteps, have also ramped up their activities as a result. To be on the safe side, make sure to ship packages to a secure location. If no one is going to be home to accept a package delivery, then consider shipping it to another location such as your office.
Choose the apps you shop from carefully
Shopping for the holidays online is super convenient. It’s even more convenient when you’re able to turn to a mobile device for shopping. Just be careful what apps you are shopping form. Some unofficial apps could be laced with malicious software that could unknowingly be installed with an app that you plan to shop on.
Add another layer of protection to your payment method
Using a digital wallet like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Venmo increases your transaction security by obscuring your payment card information so that the merchant sees a unique one-time code. This way if a store employee or hacker were to try and steal this information, they wouldn’t be able to see your credit card or bank details.
Research the retailer before you buy
Excited because you’ve finally found the perfect gift for the hardest-to-shop-for person on your list? Before you get too excited and make a purchase, be sure you do your research on the website you’re ordering from. Some businesses online are fabricated by criminals who just want to scam you into providing your credit card information. To be extra safe, consider only shopping with retailers you trust and have shopped with before.
It might be the lowest price, but at what cost to you?
Do you see a price online that seems too good to be true? Then it probably is. Compare several websites for prices and pictures of the product. If the price is unbelievably low, then it could be a scheme to get your personal information and the item is actually not going to be sent.
Avoid making purchases on public Wi-Fi.
Think twice about online shopping while you’re on public Wi-Fi. A hacker can easily get on the same unprotected network as you and intercept the data you send and receive.
Use credit cards to make purchases
Using a credit card for online purchases offers the best liability protection due to the federal regulations in place that say you won’t have to pay while the card company investigates. Make sure to report a fraudulent charge within the first few days though, so your chances of full reimbursement are higher.
After an online purchase, keep an eye on your accounts and bank statement
Holiday shopping can easily add a few more pages on your statements. The more purchases you make, the harder it may be to notice a fraudulent charge, which is exactly what criminals are hoping for. Regularly check your statements and accounts for charges that weren’t made by you.