Cyber Monday Shopping Safety Tips
While the internet makes holiday shopping more convenient, it’s not without risks. Here are some tips from USA.gov on what to know before shopping online this holiday season. Help protect yourself and your finances as you search for that perfect gift.
Note: Know your employer’s computer use policies. With high speed broadband available outside of the workplace–cyber shopping is now 24/7 from almost everywhere.
Don’t rush–you have a good two weeks to purchase your gifts and received them prior to Christmas Eve, December 24, 2013.
How To Pay
Use a credit card rather than a debit card. Credit card payments can be withheld if there’s a dispute with a store, and if the card is stolen, you won’t have to pay more than $50 of fraudulent charges. But with a debit card, you can’t withhold payments—the store is paid directly from your bank account. And if your card is stolen, you could be liable for up to $500, depending on when you report it.
Note: PAY PAL is another option that many stores have now to make payments providing another level of protection for your credit or debit card.
Create different passwords for each store you make set up an account with.
It’s advisable to set up a separate e-mail account to receive the store announcements and special offers, etc. from the various stores you shop at.
While the learning curve may take some time if you don’t shop on-line a lot–it will pay off after holiday season 2013 with you on-line shopping in 2014 and beyond.
Find out if the public WiFi hotspot you’re using at a coffee shop or bookstore is secure. If it’s not, your payment information could be compromised over the network.
It’s risky not to read the terms of service agreement before you buy online. You could inadvertently sign up for subscriptions or get hit with additional fees or restrictions. Terms of service are often in small print or presented right when you are anxious to purchase.
Be careful if you’re buying event tickets (sports, concerts, etc.) online as gifts. Some venues may practice restricted ticketing, requiring the same credit card used in the online purchase to be shown to get into the event.