How to Protect Yourself when Shopping Online this Holiday Season

How to Protect Yourself when Shopping Online this Holiday Season

It’s no secret that online shopping is getting more and more popular every year.  It’s just too convenient, and who wants to deal with parking at the mall? Online shopping is here, and although credit card companies now work twice as hard to protect your information, it really comes down to us as consumers going the extra mile to make sure that we protect ourselves as well.

Where do we start?

Well, first, if you are going to resort to online purchasing, GO TO A WEBSITE YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH.  Just because you receive an email saying that you get 50% off doesn’t mean that you are getting your product from a legitimate location.  That reminds me – don’t just click on a link from any email.  If you get an email from a popular company (ex. Bed, Bath and Beyond or Sports Authority), it doesn’t mean that the email actually came from those locations.  Go to the actual site, if the email provides a promo code, use the promo code on the actual website.  Hackers have been known to use links in email to obtain to your personal information.

Another way to protect yourself is to DELETE YOUR HISTORY.  Websites have a way to save your search history; companies argue that it’s another convenient way to get to the websites you visit faster.  Where this may be true, it’s also a way to invade your privacy.  All of the big browsers enable you to save those links without your privacy being invaded using bookmarks.

Third, NEVER SAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD TO A WEBSITE! Too many times you read about massive companies getting hacked and hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers being jeopardized.  An easy way to prevent this is to just click no when asked “Do you want to save your information?”  Yes, it may be convenient to save your information, but the time spent on the phone with the credit card company to find out what mystery charges are can be a bigger hassle in the long run than just pulling out the card with each purchase.

And last but not least, please DO NOT SHOP ON PUBLIC WIFI.  Your information is being crossed into one router and thieves will post up at coffee shops and use programs to see what information is traveling through that area.  You are susceptible to having not only your credit card information stolen, but having your passwords and social sites hacked as well.  So when you go to places like Starbucks and McDonalds, try to keep internet usage to a minimum.

From all of us are Guardian Data Destruction

Have a safe and happy holiday!

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