‘Tis the season for online scams, you need to secure your holiday online shopping.
Put a lock on it
Before you purchase from any website, make sure there’s a lock on it. The lock means the seller has made some effort to encrypt the transaction protecting your credit card and personal details.If you have to create an account, create a unique account with a unique password. This ensures that if that seller’s web site gets hacked, it’s the only one of your accounts affected. When a hacker gets your email address and password from one site, they will try it on multiple web sites. If you have problems remembering multiple accounts, get a password manager like LastPass.
Use a reloadable Visa card instead of one with a high limit for online purchases. Financial planners recommend this anyway to help stop Xmas overspending. If hackers get the account details from a web site that’s been hacked, the damage is limited.
Ultra Awesome Price!
An ultra awesome price is usually too good to be true. Check other online retailers to see what they’re charging for the same item.
Who are you buying from?
Many of the big name websites act as resellers for other companies. That makes it difficult and time consuming to figure out who you’re buying from and if they’re reputable. BestBuy has a great feature on their web site that actually lets you filter out their search results so you only see items from BestBuy.
Amazon does not have this feature but it does show you the online reputation of the seller. In the picture below you can see that RockPapa has 347 ratings with a 4 star average. You could also google the seller for more ratings. I would recommend you find the same item sold by Amazon itself. Amazon at least has consistent return policies and it’s been around for more than 10 years. Yes, Amazon politics and employee treatment sucks. You can google any seller to find out their business ethics as well as their business practices.
Those repairs plans or breakage insurance usually have very limited coverage. Most financial planners I know recommend you put aside money in a breakage account rather than buy a protection plan.
Secure your holiday online shopping
A few extra steps while shopping online can give peace over the holidays. Don’t forget to check your credit card statements in January.