Tips for Online Shopping During the Holiday Season

Posted in Your rights

The clock is ticking for Christmas and that means the final mad dash to the retail world. Parking is a pain, stores are cramped, line ups are long and patience is short. That means online shopping becomes the preferred choice for many (just make sure your purchases will be shipped before Santa arrives).

Shopping has never been more convenient and that can be both a blessing and a curse. You can browse from the comfort of your couch and you can do it any time. You can seek out the best deals without any pressure or timelines and then it comes right to your door.

On the flip side- it’s so easy, you could get into trouble with your credit card. Be cautious when you go through your shopping cart- can you afford it, do you really need it? Can you pay it off right away to avoid any interest charges? Something else to consider- be aware of who you are buying from and who you’re sharing your personal banking information with. Online shopping is definitely safe, but there are some things to look for to avoid online fraud and to put your mind at ease.

If the deal is too good to be true, it probably is and it may be a copycat site. If you suspect something isn’t right, check out the contact information (usually businesses don’t use a gmail address). When you are shopping, look for the closed padlock in the website address or look for http:// to make sure you are sharing information through a secure connection. Keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements and look for any unfamiliar transactions. If you’re unsure about something, call your financial institution or credit card company right away and if any of your cards are lost or stolen, report it immediately. We hear this one all of the time, but don’t share your password, don’t pick a predictable one and change them up. Try not to make it easy for criminals to hack into your accounts.

Being careful doesn’t have to be difficult, but being cautious makes online Christmas shopping a lot more fun.