5 Tricks For Safe Holiday Shopping Online

Many of these ideas and links came from AVG, my virus protection program, but this is not a sponsored post. Just sharing good information.

1. Use official apps or websites

One of the simplest ways to avoid scams is to go directly to the official shopping site, instead of clicking on a link to get there. This will potentially save you a bundle in headaches and lost money, by ensuring you aren’t giving your payment details to a cleverly disguised evil twin website. And the bad guys are really clever.

Same goes for shopping apps: download them only from official app stores, such as the Apple app store or Google Play. Occasionally a rogue app may find its way into these official stores, but their quality control is excellent and every bit of safety helps.

2. Switch on your VPN while you shop

A VPN is an app that encrypts and hides everything you do online – your browsing, your searches, your payment and banking details, etc – from basically anyone, hackers and criminals included.

That means VPNs are perfect for online shopping, since they keep the entire process private and secure. You can get a VPN for your smartphone, tablet, desktop computer, laptop — even your smart TV.

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3. Get rid of online ads with an ad blocker

Besides getting a far cleaner, less cluttered online shopping experience, ad blockers can also help keep you safe. Online criminals are turning to online ads as a means of delivering malware into your devices, so getting rid of ads altogether can be a nice online security bonus.

4. Don’t store payment info online 

How many times can you type your credit card number before those offers to save your payment details start appearing irresistible? I understand. It’s a pain. It’d be so nice to have everything neatly saved and ready for your next purchase.

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5. Pay with credit card

If everything goes wrong and your payment details end up compromised after all, paying with a credit card (as opposed to a debit card, bank transfer, or other methods) may save you a lot of trouble. Most credit cards offer a good level of buyer protection, such as the ability to dispute charges you don’t agree with. This may vary from company to company, so it’s worth giving yours a call and see what kind of coverage you’re entitled to.

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