As a parent, you probably feel like one of those circus performers who can keep 25 plates in the air at all times, balancing each one on a thin stick. Between taking care of your kiddos, household projects, work demands, family and friends, pets and more, you are one busy person.
In an effort to make your to-do list a wee bit shorter, you have enthusiastically embraced online shopping whenever possible. From toys and clothes for the kids to groceries, books, computer gadgets and more, you love the convenience and ease that online shopping provides.
Unfortunately, hackers can take this great shopping experience and ruin it, either by gaining access to your charge card number or making your computer vulnerable to a virus. In order to make your online shopping experiences as safe and secure as possible, check out the following tips:
Shop Only at Secure Shopping Sites
When it comes to security, not all online stores are created equally. Make sure that the website has secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption installed. The easiest way to check this is to make sure the website’s URL begins with https:// and you should also see a lock symbol on the address bar.
If It Seems Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Yes, it is possible to get some amazing deals when shopping online. Major retailers like Amazon hold their popular Prime Days, and other reputable sites offer sales from time to time. What you want to avoid like the plague are sites with insanely low prices. While you might love the idea of scoring an iPad tablet for $75, this may very well be a scam. You may also want to steer clear from sites you’ve never heard of, or sites that don’t have reputable reviews. If you stick with well-known and reputable sites, your shopping experiences should be a lot safer.
When Shopping on a Mobile Device, Use a Secure Mobile Processor
Shopping online with your laptop is convenient, but buying your daughter her new soccer shoes on your smartphone while standing in line waiting for your latte is incredible. To make sure your mobile transactions are as safe as possible, consider investing in a mobile processor that features the Qualcomm Haven Security Suite. Snapdragon mobile processors that contain this innovative security platform include the ideal combo of hardware, software and biometrics that make online shopping extra safe. In addition, Qualcomm’s mobile processors feature some pretty nifty additional security features, like fingerprint sensors for unlocking your phone and Camera Security that enhances mobile device security with iris and facial recognition. So even if your phone falls into the wrong hands, you don’t have to worry about an unwanted shopping spree.
Use a Credit Card or PayPal
When paying for your son’s new LEGO set or your new shoes, use either a credit card or a well-known and reputable payment option like PayPal. As Webroot notes, debit cards do not have the same security protections in place, should there be an issue with your order. On the other hand, credit card purchases limit your liability to $50 of unauthorized charges if your account is hacked and someone steals your credit card information. To keep easier tabs on your online purchases, set aside one credit card for all of your web based shopping; then every month, go over the statement with a fine-tooth comb and be sure you are not seeing unauthorized charges.
Overall, there are far more positive reasons to do your shopping online than not; yes, there are some inherent risks to buying your kiddo’s birthday gifts online. But with some common sense combined with a solid knowledge of the dangers of what is out there and how to avoid them it is still a wonderfully convenient and fun way to shop.