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How to shop online this holiday season and don’t get screwed

ByinTips & Guides | December 20, 2016

How to shop online this holiday season
More and more customers are choosing to buy holiday’s gifts online rather than go to a brick and mortar stores and it’s no wonder. This method of shopping is easy, very convenient and save time. The selection of products is virtually limitless and you don’t even have to leave your house to pick up the item – it will be shipped to you, in some cases at no additional cost. However, many people forget that in addition to all the benefits of online shopping, there are also many dangers such as identity theft. Holiday season is the time when customers shop more and yet are less careful since they have other things on their mind. Here’s a short guide on how to shop online this holiday season and don’t get screwed.

If you choose to shop online use a credit card

If you want to buy your holiday gifts online, here are a few pieces of advice to follow to make your purchase smooth and risk-free.

  1. Use a credit card.

If you choose to shop online, using a credit card rather than debit card is safer. Why? Because if an unauthorized person gets access to your debit card, real money will be gone from a real account. Banks generally cover fraud on both debit and credit cards, but debit card theft take more time and effort to deal with.

  1. Check out new websites.

If you want to buy something online from a new place, try to find as much information as you can about the store. Ask your friends and family to see if someone has already had any experience with the store and look for reviews from other shoppers. It can also be helpful to do a quick search of the store’s name and the word “fraud” or “scam” in search engines. Also, check if the URL begins with https, where the “s” stand for secure.

  1. Protect the device you use to shop.

Check the sites privacy policy to see what type of tracking data it’s using. Don’t forget to update your antivirus and anti-malware software, since it’s one of the most important barriers between you and hacker. Whether you use a smartphone, tablet or laptop to shop online, avoid using public Wi-Fi as such connections are never secure enough. If you use a smartphone, remember to protect it with a password. It’s also safer to use digital wallets, since they provide unique coding for each transaction which makes it easier to trace if there is any issue.

  1. Be careful.

Don’t facilitate access to sensitive data such as your name, address and partial credit card information by throwing away receipts away. Keep the receipts in a safe place and if you don’t need them, shred them to tiny piece before throwing them to trash. It’s also a very smart habit to checks credit card and online bank accounts at least once a week to keep track of all the transactions and make sure that no money is missing.

A 2016 Holiday Shopping Survey conducted by global information services company Experian, reveals that 46 percent of responders are not concerned about identity theft this holiday season and they should be, since this particular form of crime happens more often than people realize. However, you can significantly reduce the risk by following a few simple steps we described above. Good luck finding the items you are looking for and safe shopping.

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