According to a recent article on Kiplinger.com:
“More consumers are expected to do their holiday shopping online this year – about 47% compared with 44% in 2010, according to a National Retail Federation survey. And about half of those surveyed who own smart phones and 70% who own tablets will use their devices to research items and make purchases.
The Internet makes it easy to compare prices, shop quickly and avoid the crowds. But it can also put you at risk of becoming a victim of identity theft if you don’t take the proper precautions.”
Security expert Jon Heimerl suggests that you follow these do’s and don’ts of online shopping to protect your personal information and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of a scam or identity theft:
- Go directly to a retailer’s site or use a price-comparison site, such as Amazon.com or PriceGrabber.com, instead of clicking links on a search results page. Even if you’re using a site that you think is legitimate, look for a security label, such as VeriSign or Cybertrust, and for https:// in the URL on pages that prompt you to enter personal information.
- Never make purchases online using a public Wi-Fi connection.
- Make sure you use a credit card when making purchases online and remember to check your monthly statements for charges that you didn’t make.
- If a Web site or individual offers a deal that’s too good to be true, demands a direct transfer of funds and won’t accept credit cards, it’s probably a scam.
- Wire money to pay for an item. If you purchase an item from an online auction site, such as eBay, and the seller asks you to wire your payment, don’t do it.
- Trust every deal you see on social-networking sites. One option is to use a deal notification you see on Twitter as a tip, then research the details on your own.
Finally, before you log into the internet for the deals… check out your local shops and businesses. They probably have some fantastic deals and you know who you’re dealing with.