Online shopping isn’t new by any means, but it is a rapidly growing trend now that people don’t want to rub shoulders at the mall. This means you’re probably going to kick-off the holiday shopping season at home, so there’s no better time to hone your online shopping skills.
Read this list of tips to ensure you’ll protect your financial data on Cyber Monday and every digital shopping trip thereafter!
Shop from Secure Sites
It’s natural to bounce from tab to tab while in hot pursuit of the best deals, but be careful of where your clicking takes you. While browsers like Google and Firefox do their best to protect you from unsecured sites, some manage to squeeze through the cracks.
You can perform some checks to ensure you’re always shopping from a legitimate company.
- Click the closed padlock to see that the site’s certificates are valid
- Check for a complete contact page that shows they have a physical address and phone number
- Compare online reviews to see how other customers have been treated in the past
Follow these steps any time you plan on sharing your personal information, especially when it comes to big financial decisions like opening a bank account or getting an online installment loan.
Delete Your Cookies
A plate of cookies gives you the strength to scroll through endless coupon codes. Internet cookies, on the other hand, are pieces of data that a website stores in your browser.
Generally speaking, your browser stores cookies so that it can load pages you’ve already visited faster and auto-fill forms you’ve already completed. This is true of all websites — governments, online installment loans direct lenders, charities, streaming services, and more.
But when it comes to online retailers, they may track your cookies to set their prices.
Use One Credit Card
The average American has four cards in their wallets, but you’ll want to use just one for your online shopping trips. Putting all your digital purchases on one card makes it easier to:
- Keep track of expenses, balances, and due dates
- Limit your exposure to identity theft and fraud
- Spot any possible fraudulent charges applied to your account
Pick the card with the best interest rates and benefits program to maximize your shopping.
As an added caveat, only spend what you can afford. While a credit card gives you the option of paying a minimum, anytime you can’t pay your full balance may affect your credit score.
Long before coronavirus changed the way you browse, holiday shopping has always come with a risk. At the mall, you have to dodge elbows of shoppers determined to nab the last iPhone on sale. At home, you have to grapple with malicious websites intent on stealing your financial data.
At least with online shopping, you can do it comfortably from your spot on the couch. And as long as you follow these tips, you can protect your data anytime you shop online.