How To Stay Safe While Shopping Online With A Mobile Device

January 26, 2017

Internet-reliant devices such as smart phones, tablets and now watches should be properly protected. This is especially true during the holidays and other periods of heavy data usage when people shop online. Criminals are always looking for online shoppers to target, and their methods are becoming more sophisticated every year. Be suspicious of emails regarding problems with credit cards. Companies usually call to alert cardholders of suspicious activity. Never click on emails with attachments and urgent offers.

Criminals know that people are always looking to save money or are worried about their credit cards being compromised. Also, they use ads to entice people to visit unsecured sites, and some of these sites may look similar to the homepages of popular retail stores. Always look at the URL bar to ensure that it starts with "https" and is the legitimate site of the retailer. These are some important tips to remember when shopping online:

  1. When visiting a new site to make a purchase, read independent reviews to see what other consumers have to say about the company's products and business practices.
  2. When completing a transaction online, pay attention to the type of information requested to ensure that no unnecessary personal details are shared.
  3. Only fill out the required fields of information when completing a transaction.
  4. Avoid clicking links in text messages and emails.
  5. When a questionable email about a major retailer's sale is received, look up the site on Google and visit it from the search engine instead of the email link to verify the sale.
  6. Always use safe payment options such as credit cards when buying something online.
  7. Read and understand a retailer's return policy, privacy policy and other information to know what to expect.

When shopping in a mall or store, always disable a phone's Wi-Fi. Some stores have their connections set to detect and track phones with Wi-Fi. However, criminals can also do the same thing. Always be wary of what business is conducted using a public Wi-Fi signal. Avoid making transactions, sending sensitive information or sending personal emails. Here are some additional security tips:

  • Download good security software for all tablets, smart phones and laptops.
  • Use authentication methods for logins.
  • Choose strong passwords for online accounts.
  • Log out of any account after using it instead of leaving it open.
  • Use a different password for every account instead of using a universal password.
  • Change all passwords frequently.
  • Clear and delete downloads and unnecessary files.
  • Be sure that an app is trustworthy before downloading it.

To learn more about protecting online shopping safety and avoiding hackers, speak with an agent about your options.

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