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7 Tips for Safe Online Shopping during the Holidays

It’s that time of the year again! As our holiday shopping lists start to grow, many of us turn to online shopping as our secret weapon. Whether we’re in the comfort of our own home or in the middle of our lunch break, shopping online can help save us time and money. Just like with any good hack, there can be issues if you do not follow a certain set of guidelines when online shopping.

Here are 7 tips to keep in mind this holiday season:

1. Install the latest browser

Install the latest version of your internet browser to keep malware at bay.

2. Research any new website

There are some websites that scam customers into putting in their information with the intent of never actually sending you the products that you’re ordering. It is important to research new websites and read the reviews of other customers before going through with an order.

3. Two-factor authentication

On most mobile devices and computers there is an option to set up two-factor authentication. By turning this on in settings, you will now have an extra security layer that helps prevent identity fraud or potential hackers from accessing your information. Also, avoid checking off the “remember me” box when checking out your items.

illustration shopping on mobile phone

4. Be smart about where you online shop

Try to limit your shopping on the go to only when you have access to private wireless networks. In some cases, unsecure public wireless networks can lead hackers directly to your devices.

5. Ignore unfamiliar or random links

Random links and attachments that show up on your device through emails or social media are the easiest ways cybercriminals can gain access to your information. Be sure to delete any unsolicited emails or messages.

6. Do not use your work email address for non-related accounts

Using your work email address for non-work related tasks could lead to the potential exposure of your employer to hackers, who may in turn target you and your employer with phishing emails.

7. Look for security features

Look for the “S” at the end of the https:// on any website you visit that may require you to enter a password, credit card or other personal details. Review the site for other items such as a lock symbol in the address bar that indicates your shopping session is secure.

Despite how busy the holiday season can get, it is important to try and remember to follow these simple steps when online shopping.  Being aware of the tricks and scams potential hackers may use, can help prevent a lot of headaches this holiday season.   

About the author

Kathleen Barrett

As the Director of Marketing at LendingClub, Kathleen has had experience in the financial services industry for over ten years. Ten years ago, while working for a non-profit focused on helping consumers work their way to financial freedom, Kathleen found her passion for financial education. Her current role puts her at the forefront of online banking trends, allowing her to share her expert advice for your personal financial needs.