5 Gift Shopping Security Tips

If you’re making your shopping list and checking it twice, you know it can be a timely process to select the best gift for every special person in your life. One added element to complicate things is the fact that fraudsters know that online shopping is a common method for people to make these purchases, and have created traps to steal financial information along the way. Learn our security tips so you can gift shop risk-free. 

If Possible, Choose Credit

Typically, when you make a purchase online or in-store, you are able to choose between using a credit or debit card. Although debit cards are a convenient method of payment, it doesn’t always offer the best security benefits.  Because your debit card is directly linked to your bank account, if its details go into the wrong hands, a hacker will receive full access to your account. Oftentimes, once a cybercriminal has this information, he or she can retrieve all funds within your account without any sort of security alerts or holds that credit cards would place.

Shop Encrypted Sites Only

When it comes to online shopping, there are infinite websites available for you to choose from. However, just because a website is available to shop from, it doesn’t mean it’s a secure option. The first thing you should look at when clicking onto a potential shopping website is if it is encrypted. Does it have “https” at the beginning of its web address? If not, that is a sign to get out of the website as quickly as possible. If you are wanting to buy from a popular website like Target, double check the website details, like if the website address is spelled correctly, logo looks familiar, etc. Scammers can create replications of popular shopping sites to trick consumers, so it’s best to analyze the site thoroughly before trusting it.

Keep Your Virus Software Updated

To give you added peace of mind when shopping for your presents, let your virus software do a portion of the security defending for you. Ensure you have solid virus software products in place so while you shop, your software can notify you if the website is safe to click on or prevents malware from getting through to your device. If you aren’t currently using a virus software, be sure to do your research and download one that is best for your computer needs. Once you have your software up and running, make sure it is up to date as you shop so it works as hard as it can to keep your device safe.

Be Wary of Shipping Notifications

As soon as we make our online purchase, we wait for the exciting update that our item has been shipped. Unfortunately, scammers know this and have created fake shipping notifications to try and retrieve personal information from users. Similar to when looking at websites, look at the sender of these emails or texts and watch out for hidden typos. If you have an email or text message from that website in the past you can compare it to your most recent one to see if the address or messaging is consistent. When in doubt, there is never a reason to click on the links provided, instead you can search for your order manually on FedEx or UPS’s website to track its shipping.

Create Stronger Passwords

When it comes to your favorite shopping websites, most likely you have created an account for a more convenient shopping experience. It’s important to follow the same password best practices as you would for any financial account you own on these shopping websites. Stay one step ahead of fraudsters by changing your password on a routine basis and adding special characters to make them hard to guess. Most importantly, make sure each account has a password that is unique from the other. Otherwise, if one account gets hacked, they all will be. We have provided a password guide that you can keep handy for the holiday season and beyond.

Nutmeg Technologies is an IT managed service provider based out of Enfield, CT. We are happy to assist companies who are looking to have in-office or remote workforce through secure technology. Contact us today to find a product that best suits your company’s needs.

We hope you have a happy holiday season!