7 Musts For Safe Holiday Online Shopping

7 Musts For Safe Holiday Online Shopping via Babble
Getting scammed may be easier than you think.

Instead of chaotic mall shopping in the form of long lines, pitiful selection, and crowds, crowds, crowds, many people prefer to enjoy a peaceful shopping experience and plan to quietly finish buying gifts online. I confess, I am an online kind of gal. You could not pay me enough to head out to crowded malls on Christmas Eve, or even worse, Black Friday!

Yet even though you may be warm and snug shopping from your own home, and possibly from your own bed in your jammies, you may still unknowingly lend yourself to the madness of the Internet, and a bunch of scams and safety issues in the process.

Here are 7 ways to make sure your holiday online purchases are safe from scammers and financial predators.

  • Passwords 1 of 7
    Did you know the number one most use password is password? Pretty dumb, right? Still so many people use it. Your password to anything online should be wholly unique and contain an upper case, lower case, and number if possible. And you should not use the same password for different sites.
    Image: iStock
  • Safe Sites 2 of 7
    Safe Sites
    Any site you use should contain an https, not just an http. That small "s" in the url stand for ‘secure' and ensures safety. That little s means that the website is using encrypted codes that no one else can read. Do not ever enter your credit card information on a website that only says http!
    Image: iStock
  • Email Scams 3 of 7
    Email Scams
    In the past week alone, I have gotten 3 emails scams that look very much like the real thing. One was from American Express lookalike telling me to click a link to check suspicious activity on my account. The similarities were so striking, I thought for sure, it was real until I noticed that the exact same email (which was not my account number) was sent to 24 other addresses at the same time. Remember that scammers purposely try to send out emails with similar logos to popular companies. If in doubt, call the company and ask if what you received is legit.
  • Don’t Reply 4 of 7
    Don't Reply
    If you get a suspect email, don't respond to it. The worst thing you can do is hit reply and engage in an exchange with scammers.
    Image: iStock
  • Attachments 5 of 7
    Do NOT open them, ever. Around this time, you'll also get links from friend's emails that you recognize who will tell you abut something great they found. Do not click! If you do, you'll get the virus your friend apparently acquired and the same email will go out to your contact list.
    Image: iStock
  • Link Address Match 6 of 7
    Link Address Match
    If you really feel like clicking that link (despite good advice), compare the link supplied in the email with the url given and see if they match. They should.
    Image: iStock
  • Must Act Now 7 of 7
    Must Act Now
    We cannot stress this enough: if anything tells you to act now, it is probably a scam. Anything along the lines of buy with the next hour is not legit. The exception? Some stores will send emails that say between 4-8am or until noon today, they will have major sales. Good info, just remember if you think the email looks strange, find store websites through Google, and go to their homepage. If they are having big sales, it will say so nice and big.
    Image: iStock


Source: ABC News, Fox News

Image: iStock

Follow Danielle on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest (where she maintains an ‘Adorable Pups’ board), or find her at her blog, Just Write Mom and Babble Pets.  



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