Protect yourself from online shopping scams this holiday season

Now, more than ever, people are using online shopping to purchase the holiday gifts they need from one convenient place – the internet. If you’re doing some online shopping this holiday season, whether it’s for the first time or the hundredth, here are some tips on doing it in a cyber safe way.

Shop at familiar retailers It’s easier to stick to stores you know when shopping online. Verified retailers will have stronger cyber security practices to keep you protected. If you do find yourself on unfamiliar sites, make sure to verify that they are legitimate. Look out for websites that have “https” and a green lock bar before their address in your web browser; this indicates those websites encrypt your financial data. Research reviews online and contact the retailer if you are unsure. If something seems too good to be true, like those brand name shoes on clearance, it probably is.

Don’t save your credit card info in your web browser You know when you enter your credit card information, and your browser asks if you’d like it to remember that info? Click NO. It might cost you a few seconds next time you’re shopping online but saving your payment information in a browser makes it more likely to fall into the hands of a cyber criminal.

Check your bank statements regularly If you’re making online purchases frequently, even if it’s just around the holidays, check your bank statements regularly. Keep track of your purchases and make sure everything matches with your charges. If something doesn’t add up, contact the company immediately. If they can’t be reached, notify your bank right away.

Use a virtual private network (VPN) on public Wi-Fi It’s so easy to shop online these days that you don’t even need to be in the privacy of your own home. But just because something is easier doesn’t mean that it’s safe. If you’re making purchases outside of your home network, use your cellular data. If your data is unavailable, use a VPN to secure your information when using public Wi-Fi.

Online shopping has made it easier to track down all those hard-to-find holiday gifts. When you’re checking off everyone on your list this year, make sure you’re checking out online securely.

Find more tips on how to secure your accounts and devices at getcybersafe.gc.ca.

credit – newscanada