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Online Shopping Tips

By:Christine Fettinger

How do you do your holiday shopping?

Of course there is always the option of braving the swarms of other holiday shoppers who take over downtown in the months of November and December. But more and more, shoppers are turning to the internet to ease the process of holiday gift finding.

Online shopping itself is no news – for the past 10 years e-commerce has been growing at an incredible rate. What is interesting, however, is how more and more consumers are accessing retailer’s websites – down with the traditional computer, up with the mobile device!

This year tablets in particular took the center stage when it comes to online purchasing – IBM reports that 55% more online sales were made on tables than smartphones!

With the holiday shopping going at full force, here are a few tips and tricks to make sure that your billing and personal information stay secure when you make online purchases:

Online Shopping Safety:

  • Shop on Secure Websites

    Only make purchases on websites that use encryption technology. This will prevent fraudsters obtaining your payment and personal information as it is transferred to the vendor.

    You can tell if the website is secure by looking at the website address in the top left side of your browser. If you see “https://” in front of the website, or if you see a closed padlock icon, you know the website is secure!

  • Do your Research!

    Only shop from company websites that you recognize. If you do not recognize the company, do a little research to establish that they are legitimate.

  • Credit vs. Debit

    Always use credit to make online purchases. Unlike your debit card, your credit card purchases are protected under the Federal Fair Credit Billing Act. This means that if someone gets your credit card information from an online purchase and begins using it for themselves, you can dispute any false charges they make!

  • How much information to share?

    Some personal information is necessary for online merchants to send you your purchases. Avoid giving out excessive or unnecessary personal information on line though!

CyberStreams is a premier IT consulting firm for the Seattle area. With over 10 years of experience in the industry, we have a long history of providing the best in class IT services for small and medium sized businesses around the northwest. For more how-to’s, guides, and general interesting information, visit our blog! For more information on our services, contact us today.