How to shop safely online this holiday season

Shopping online has some drawbacks as personal financial information can often get compromised. Don't worry. We've compiled some essential tips for you to shop safely online.

shop safe online holiday
We're at an age when our finances are a touch away. We use technology to pay for food, buy groceries and shop for anything we want. But have you ever wondered how safe it is to really shop online, especially this holiday season?

In this article

With the holiday season setting in, everyone around you may be rushing to shop online, but are you safely making those transactions? About 59% of Americans will be shopping online this holiday season.

Black Friday’s online transactions are expected to reach record heights as sales are already up by 21.6%. Cyber Monday sales are expected to be between $10.8 billion and $12.7 billion.

Since many customers who usually shop at retail stores will be shopping online this year — due to Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions or supply chain issues — customers need to be careful before proceeding to the payment page.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Never reuse online passwords.
  • Never save passwords on computers and phones. Don’t save the payment information on online retailers to checkout easily.
  • Never use public WiFi for shopping online or any online banking activity. Not using a secure network can compromise your passwords, bank details and other data.

Nearly 91% of adults have their personal financial information exposed to danger when they shop online. Here are some ways to shop safely online. Meanwhile, read how you can save while shopping on Amazon.

Use a credit card first

Your debit card has your money saved in a checking account. Unlike a credit card, this is your money. Moreover, raising a complaint about a debit card issue will take weeks for processing. Most importantly, credit cards provide more fraud protection which makes it easier to dispute a transaction.

Freeze your credit

Freezing your credit will prevent anyone from opening new accounts in your name and prevent identity theft. You can freeze credit online or on the phone by reaching out to credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Check bank statements

Make it a habit to frequently check your credit and bank statements to spot any suspicious activity in your accounts. If you spot any unusual activity, you must notify your bank immediately.

Disposable virtual card number

Credit card companies like Citi, Apple Card and Capital One offer a disposable virtual card that is different from your permanent credit card number. PayPal Key has the option for you to create virtual card numbers for debit cards and checking accounts as well. You can use these disposable card numbers while shopping online.

Check retailer authenticity

Many fraudulent online shopping websites with an authentic outlook will appear when you browse the web or scroll social media during the holiday season. These websites may not even have an office or a warehouse. They will steal your personal and financial information if you buy something from them.

These websites often attract customers with unrealistically low prices. You can also check for the https:// on the address bar which denotes secured connection. It’s advisable to shop in well-known retailers. Follow these steps and you should be able to shop safely online this holiday season.

This page is purely informational. Line does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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