What’s worse than spending 40 minutes driving around a shopping centre carpark with all the other last-minute Christmas shoppers? Getting hacked while doing your online shopping!
If you’re like many of us who would prefer the comfort of our lounge rooms for shopping versus the hordes of sweaty, pushy shoppers fighting for the last must-have toy then you’re not alone. But whilst it’s all well and good to quietly gloat about your easy shopping habits, now is the perfect time to remind ourselves to stay vigilant when shopping online.
Here’s our top 5 ways to keep safe whilst online shopping this silly season:
1. Beware the clone!
Scammers will often clone entire websites of reputable organisations to fool shoppers. Our advice? Check the URL of the website you’re wanting to purchase from and make sure it is exactly right. If you’ve not bought from that site before, do a Google search for reviews of the company – you’ll find out pretty quickly if other people have been scammed.
2. Change up your passwords.
If you’re a regular on eBay or frequent Asos for the latest shoes, maybe change your password if it’s been awhile. If you sign up to a new site, use a password you’ve never used before.
3. Check if it’s HTTPS or HTTP.
Put simply, HTTPS is more secure. HTTPS uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) which encrypts the information sent so that only the intended recipient can see it. If the site you’re on is a HTTP, be mindful about what information you key in.
4. Don’t use public WiFi to shop
It might be tempting to quickly purchase something whilst sipping on your latte at your local café, but just wait until you get home to make that purchase more secure. Any information sent through a hotspot can potentially be picked up by strangers so better to be safe than sorry.
5. Trust yourself
You know in your gut when something is off, so trust it! If you find yourself on a website that looks like it was designed in 1994 with weird dancing babies or it fills your screen with popups, back out! Find the item on another website, even if you have to pay more it could save you in the long run.
And one last bonus tip! Don’t go nuts. It’s tempting when you’re online to rack up more purchases than you need, especially if there’s an offer of free shipping if you spend a certain amount! Set yourself a budget and stick to it, or write a list and stick to it. However, you do it keep yourself safe this holiday season!