How to Stay Secure Online During the Holidays

The holidays mean lots of shopping, both in-store and online, but if you are planning on the latter it is important to know how to stay secure online. Shopping online is a great way to avoid the hustle, the bustle, the crazy lines, and the insane prices, but it’s also a way for hackers to do what they do. If you dont know how to stay secure online, you may become a victim of identity theft. Rather than leaving yourself vulnerable to online theft, put the following tips into practice learn how to stay secure online this holiday: 

 

How to Stay Secure Online

 

Use a Secure Network Connection

Always, always, always use a secure network connection when shopping online. Public WiFi options may be convenient, but they also make your information available to anyone else on the network who is well versed in online thieving. 

 

Verify Before Downloading

Before downloading a new shopping app or engaging in similar activities, ensure what you’re downloading is secure and from a trusted source. Read permissions carefully, and understand exactly what information the app wants to access. 

 

Create a Security Code

Create a security code on your smartphone or other device if you haven’t already and keep it locked. If you lose your phone, whoever finds it won’t have instant access to your information if you use such a code. 

 

Change Your Passwords

Change your email and other passwords as often as you can stand to keep hackers at bay. 

 

Shop on Trusted Websites Only

Shop on websites you trust, such as ones that feature HTTPS in the browser section. If the site does not include this feature, it isn’t secure, so stay the heck out of it! Shopping on unsecure sites means that whatever information you enter, such as your name, address, and credit card number, is going over the Internet, unencrypted-style. 

 

Don’t Use Debit Cards

When shopping online, refrain from using your debit card, and go for your credit card instead. Why? If identity theft occurs, credit card laws make it possible to keep your spending power during the investigation. If you use a debit card, you may not have access to your money for up to 30 days depending on your bank’s policy. Some banks take as long as 60 days to resolve identity issues. 

 

Avoid Excess Link-Clicking

Click on the trusted sites you plan to shop at and avoid others. Further, you should never click on links from text messages and emails. 

 

Use Security Software

Make certain there’s updated security software on the device you’re using to shop, whether it is a phone, tablet, or laptop. 

 

Remember Common Sense

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Use your common sense, which includes refraining from providing sensitive information that’s just unnecessary, such as your social security number. No one you’re shopping with requires that information—ever. 

Keep these tips in mind and stay safe when online shopping this holiday season.