Tis the season: Shop Online Safely

Shop for Xmas safely
Shop for Xmas safely

Tis the season to shop online for Christmas gifts. But how do you that safely?

Here are a few tips to keep the Internet Grinch away:

1. Secure your computer before you shop online. Make sure your antivirus is up to date and all those patches are installed (particularly Java and Adobe Flash).

2. Make your passwords long and strong and different for every place you log on. Use a password keeper like LastPass if you have problems creating long passwords and remembering them.

3. Be wary of web sites that have prices that are way cheaper than everyone else. This is usually an indicator that it is not for real. Also check the quality of the grammar and spelling. Make sure there is proper contact information such as phone number and address for the business on the web site.

4. Don’t give out too much information. There is no reason why the web site selling Duck Dynasty Chia pets needs to know your mother’s maiden name. Asking for a lot of unnecessary information is a red flag that the web site could be fraudulent.

5. Keep a paper trail. Print out all your transactions, invoice and receipts from your purchases. Use your credit card and check your monthly statements carefully. It’s easier to reverse charges with a credit card particularly if you have that paper trail.

6. Don’t go shopping on unsecured WiFi hot spots. While your laptop or tablet may be secure, if the wifi is not, people can eavesdrop on your signal and get your credit card information.

7. Links in tweets, emails and online posts are frequently used by hackers to compromise your computer. Don’t click that link that says “Sale on Dell Laptop”, go directly to the dell.ca web site instead.

Keep safe online and the internet Grinch won’t steal your Christmas.