5 Tips for Safe Online Holiday Shopping
It’s safe to say that as we approach 2022, a growing number of Americans are shopping primarily online, especially during the holidays. A recent survey found that 99 percent of Americans do at least part of their holiday shopping online, while 50 percent do most of their shopping online.
With this in mind, we all must think deeply about the inherent risks surrounding shopping online and take steps to protect ourselves along the way.
Here is some food for thought and the current state of shopping online for the holidays.
- The average American consumer plans to spend $1,007 for the holidays. 84% of holiday shoppers plan to use their smartphones to research gifts.
- 8% of online shoppers admit they’ve been victims of identity theft during the holidays.
- 43% of online shoppers say their identity theft occurred during holiday shopping online.
Given that most Americans are at risk, the next step is to understand how we can protect our sensitive information. Here are some tips to help keep you safe:
#1 - Think Twice Before Clicking on Links that You Receive via Email
Beware of clicking on links you receive from unfamiliar websites. They could likely be “phishing” schemes, which can easily lead you to fraudulent sites and steal your data if you click through.
If a deal seems too good to be true, enter the actual website name by hand into your browser and search for the offer you’re hoping to get.
#2 – Lock Your Device When You’re Not Using It
Wildly enough, Webroot found that 53% of people on average leave their devices unlocked. Little to no device security leaves you open to all sorts of information being stolen if your device is stolen or accessed by friends and family who may not have your best interest at heart.
If you don’t lock your devices, we recommend creating pins and locking them as soon as you finish reading this article.
#3 - Use a Secure Network When Shopping
A secure network connection is a must when shopping online. Public Wi-Fi can easily be hacked by someone who has the right tools, and when this happens, you can say goodbye to your passwords, billing information, and other critical information that may put you in harm’s way.
Your best bet is to shop from the comfort of your own home or at work, where you know you’ve got a perfectly secure network.
#4 – Know Exactly Where Your Phone and Computer Apps Come From
Download your phone and computer apps from trusted sources. For example, Android Market, the Apple Store, and Amazon App Store are pretty reputable and shouldn’t give you many (if any) problems.
Also, it’s a great idea to read customer reviews, making sure to read both the good and the bad ones before deciding to download.
Also, carefully read all app descriptions before you download them. If you have any doubts, err on the side of caution, and don’t go forward with the download.
#5 – Consider using a security app or service for your computer.
There’s a reason that security apps and services exist. An exceptional security tool, like Solve iQ, can help weed out the bad apps (those that may be harmful or slow down your computer’s performance).
With Solve iQ, you can be confident your PC and apps are running at peak performance while protecting them against malware, phishing scams, and more.
As the holidays approach, it’s essential that you enjoy yourself along the way!
While shopping online has its dangers and flaws, you have the power to prepare yourself and be extra careful.
The more prepared you are, the better. Start by shopping via a secure connection, locking your devices, never clicking on questionable links, investing in a powerful security tool, and having confidence you’re protecting your personal information against all odds.
To protect yourself during the holidays and learn more about Solve iQ, visit www.solveiq.com.