Staying Safe When Shopping Online Over the Holiday Season

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The holiday season is bearing down on us, with only a few weeks left before Christmas is here. We are all excited, understandably. Who doesn’t like the holiday season? Parties, gifts, time with family and friends. It’s, for many people, the best time of the year. You are away from work and school and basically its one big happy season. But the aftermath may be tears and heartbreak, especially if you plan to do a lot of buying online.

Buying online is convenient and easy. You do not hassle with crowds in malls and you are able to make your orders without any particular hurry. The problem is; the internet is not safe today. Add that to the fact that when in the holiday mood people let down their guard and are unlikely to give much thought to security. Criminals lurk waiting for you to slip up so they can steal from you. Below, we outline several measures you can take to avoid ugly experiences over the holiday when shopping online.

Click on websites you trust

Now, there will be all manners of offers from vendors online over the holiday season. The danger with this is, not all sellers are legitimate. Some sites just want your credit card information and poof! Your money is gone. We recommend that you only buy from reputable sites.

85% discounts do not exist!

If a site is offering ridiculously big discounts that are too good to be true, then hey! they really are too good to be true. Run when you see that. See, prices don’t just come about; they are dictated by market forces. A huge discount is a poster for fraud. Avoid being fooled and robbed.

Avoid public Wi-Fi

If you enter your financial information and try to buy things online when using public Wi-Fi, your accounts are game for hackers. See, Wi-Fi is nothing but regular radio waves. This means that with a simple electromagnetic receiver, a hacker can see all your traffic and that makes it easy for him to decipher you passwords and credit card information.

If you absolutely have to use public Wi-Fi, experts recommend that you use a VPN connection to allow you encrypt your traffic so that even if your information is collected, the hacker will not be able to decrypt it. One of the best VPN providers you can use is HideMyAss (full review). Their services will cost you less than $ 7 if you buy annual subscription.

Other methods that you can apply to protect yourself when shopping online include using a prepaid debit card and gift cards. Stay happy this holiday season by exercising caution as you buy gifts for you and your loved ones online.