Safe online shopping tips


The online holiday shopping season had a record breaking start after Cyber Monday sales posted the largest single day of online sales ever in the United States. It might be convenient, but shopping online comes with it's own set of challenges. Whether it is stealing your personal information or stealing your recently-delivered package right from your porch, this time of year gives criminals plenty of opportunities to sour your holiday spirit.

Miguel Segura, Regional Director for the San Antonio Better Business Bureau, says there are several thing you can look out for.

Check a site’s security settings: If the site is secure, its URL (web address) should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.

Think before your click: Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that don’t measure up to the promotional hype.

Beware of phishing: Phishing emails can look like a message from a well-known brand, but clicking on unfamiliar links can place you at risk for malware and/or identity theft. One popular scam claims to be from a package-delivery company with links to “tracking information” on an order you don’t remember making. Don’t click!

Shop with a credit card: In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it’s easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.

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