Sometimes attention-grabbing headlines, news stories about identity theft, data hacking, or Facebook memes try to scare us away from online shopping; but more and more of us are finding the ease of shopping from our smartphones, tablets, or computers. So, how can we stay safe and save time?
In my years of experience, (ahem, since the internet began), I’ve been shopping online and have not had any issues; I’ve had my credit card scanned by unscrupulous people right through my purse though!
Thus, I’m offering you some tips to help you feel better about online shopping. As well, I hope these suggestions add bliss to your holiday experience.
Here Are 5 Tips for Holiday Shopping Online:
Buy from trusted sources
Online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, AT&T, Etsy, eBay (as well as Walmart, Target, Macy’s, Home Depot and other big box stores you love), have entire business and technology teams aimed at keeping their shop-ping site safe. While nothing in life is guaranteed, there are multiple people employed at these companies whose sole responsibility is building, testing, and updating their website (including the product pages and shopping cart), to offer you a positive experience, even under heavy load and busy times.
If you do like to shop at mom and pop shops, or a store that you’re unfamiliar with, like TeePublic, where I have a shop, at least make sure they have a customer support link and phone number; in case something goes wrong with your order. You will want to be able to speak with someone as soon as possible.
When you’ve found the online stores where you want to shop, create a user account with them
This will save you time later during the shopping process, but don’t save your credit card information on the retailers’ site. Yes, I know sometimes this can be a time-saver, but it does pose some amount of risk if that business ever has a data breach; (meaning, someone hacked into their database of stored information), which could include your credit card information if you saved it there. Besides, whenever you change your credit card or need to use a different one, you’ll have to input that information again anyway.
Open a new browser window
Open the window that you view the online shopping site at, such as Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer, each time you shop and close it when you have completed your purchase. The point of this tip is to reduce your risk. The last thing you want to do is have several browser windows open on your smartphone or tablet if you happen to leave it behind some-where, even if you locked it with a passcode.
Clear your browser cache
Google this along with the name of the browser you are using to learn how. This is something that changes often. You want to be familiar with how this is done; and clear it often. It’s a personal preference, but I have mine set to clear when I close the browser.
Sign up with an online store’s website for their emails or newsletters
I’ve often received sales and coupons within an hour of signing up for these and if you’re going to buy a lot from one or more stores, the savings can really add up.
I hope these tips have been helpful and that you save time and stress by holiday shopping online.
Have a glorious holiday season!