A zoomed image of a computer monitor shows a website selling button clipart for online shops in Vienna November 27, 2013. For consumers, one of the great things about shopping online is bypassing the queue to check out. For producers of the candy, magazines and drinks often sold there, it's a problem. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
About five online holiday shopping safety tips for consumers have been previously discussed, but because of the numerous scams and tricks cyber criminals use, it's best to be always prepared.
Here are five more online Holiday shopping safety tips for consumers to take note of to avoid being scammed:
According to the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and several cybersecurity experts, these safety tips should be kept in mind every time one goes shopping online.
1. Look for security symbols. Always check if the URL or Web page address starts with "https" before you click on the "purchase" button. The additional "s" after http means that it is secure. Look for a key or padlock icon in the browser's status bar. This means the online transaction will be encrypted and safe.
2. Beware of scams using fake charities - Cyber criminals use fake requests to access your device and exploit your personal information. Do your research and find out if the charities are legitimate or not. Don't just click on the emails that ask for personal information or donations through an email or text message.
3. Go to the official Web sites of the charities you are interested to help - Don't click on embedded links in an e-mail that was sent to you. Also, visit the Web site of the Internal Revenue Service to ensure that a certain group or organization is really eligible to receive contributions.
4. Never click on pop-up advertising. Just don't. You'll never know where it will lead you. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry. Be wary of pop-up ads that promise gift cards, cash or discounts if you fill out a survey. Some even trick you into clicking the ad, so be very careful. It's best to use Control + F4 (Windows) or Command + W (Mac) to close the pop-up ad.
5. Don't use public computers or public wireless. Don't buy things online if you are using public computers or Wi-Fi, especially in malls, coffee shops and even hotels. Cyber criminals might be monitoring the public network for online shoppers and credit card information. Always set your devices to safety mode to prevent an automatic connection to Wi-Fi hot spots.
These five online holiday shopping safety tips for consumers should be practiced even if these have passed already because cyber criminals can strike anytime. It is better to be prepared to minimize, if not avoid getting duped and suffer from the consequences of online theft, including identity theft and scams.
5 Online Holiday Shopping Safety Tips for Consumers (Click HERE)
Buyer Beware: Why You Shouldn't Follow Your Nose This Holiday Shopping Season (Click HERE)
Online Shopping Tips to Beat Scammers, Spammers (Click HERE)
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