Safer Holiday Shopping

Blue background with security icons in bubblesShopping online is popular during the holiday season, with many people preferring to avoid large crowds. This convenience increases the danger of having your personal and financial information stolen by hackers. Before you click, consider these tips for safer online shopping:

Use strong passwords

Choose a strong password when creating an account. A password should be at least eight characters with a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, symbols, or a random phrase. Avoid dictionary words and personal details such as your name and address. Use a unique password for each account or website you use and change passwords frequently. Consider using password management software to generate strong passwords you can control with a single master password.

Beware of scam websites

Typing one word into a search engine to reach a particular retailer’s website may be easy, but it may not take you to the actual site. Scam websites may contain URLs that look like misspelled brand or store names to trick online shoppers. To help you determine whether an online retailer is reputable, research sites before you shop and read reviews from previous customers. Look for https:// in the URL and not just http://, since the “s” indicates a secure connection.

Watch out for fake phishing and delivery emails

Beware of emails that contain links or ask for personal information. Legitimate shopping websites will never email you and randomly ask for your personal information. In addition, be aware of fake emails disguised as package delivery emails. Make sure all delivery emails are from reputable delivery companies you recognize. To verify if the link is legitimate, hover your mouse over the link to preview the linked URL.