by Lily Bradic
We’re used to taking extra precautions in the holiday season: ordering gifts in advance, buying extra wrapping paper, and trying particularly hard not to offend any family members.
But how many of us are so cautious when it comes to our online behavior?
With most of us doing our holiday shopping online from desktop and mobile devices, it’s important to remain vigilant — especially at this time of year.
Stick to sites you know and trust
This isn’t always possible, but it’s certainly good practice. Not only will you be at less risk of fraud, but you’ll already have an idea of how long delivery takes on a normal day. Place your orders as soon as possible to be safe, though.
Oh, and remember to check the web address for good measure — phishing sites may look the same, but you’ll notice a difference if you check the domain name.
Be careful with emails
This follows on from our last point. If you receive an email promising deals and discounts, navigate your way to the website yourself versus clicking any links within the email body. Scam emails often come from very convincing “official” accounts, and will lead you to phishing websites where your details can be stolen.
Exercise the same caution when it comes to requests for password changes or account details. Never send your bank details or password in an email. Ever.
Delivery and returns
Read the terms and conditions before buying anything. Will you be able to get your money back if it doesn’t arrive when it’s supposed to? What’s the warranty like, and if it’s only 30 days from purchase, will it have expired by the time the gift is opened?
Use a credit card for large purchases
Using a credit card can protect you if anything goes wrong, and some companies even offer extended warranty on purchases. Obviously, it’s best not to put too much on your credit card, but it’s worth it if you’re spending over $100 at once.
We hate to give you yet another thing to worry about over the holidays, but if it saves you trouble in the long run, it’s worth it, right?