The Christmas season is just around the corner, and with the holiday comes the frenzied rush of looking for just the right gift for every person on your Christmas list. People will shop in stores, online and via catalog, and scammers are hoping that while you’re running around looking for gifts, you’ll forget to be cautious about protecting your personal and financial information.
Here are some tips to help keep you safe as you do business online this holiday season.
First of all, if you are shopping online, be careful about who you do business with. Make sure you only shop at sites that are reputable and that you are familiar with. You should also take care when it comes to what you are buying. Look for clear, accurate and easily accessible information about the goods or services being offered. Be sure to review return and refund policies, as well as warranties or guarantees.
If you are paying for an object online, make sure you only shop on secured sites. Use only a secure browser that encrypts your personal and financial information. Never e-mail your financial information.
You should also find out the company’s security policies. Find out what the business will do with your personal and financial information once the transaction is completed. Ask if the company shares information with other businesses. Ask about an opt-out policy, and if they have one, use it.
Be wary if the company asks for financial information prior to placement of the order, and remember: If a deal is too good to be true, it very likely is.