The stress of holiday shopping often outweighs the joy of gift buying. The crowded malls, parking space battles, long lines, limited store inventory and overwhelmed sales associates drive more people to shop online each year, In fact, over half of consumers expect to utilize the Internet to purchase gifts and other holiday-related items this year, with almost 40 percent of holiday purchases expected to take place on retail and company websites.
Online shopping represents just one portion of the growing Internet influence over holiday spending. Internet-related gifts fill a growing percentage of the buying market.
As the Internet becomes more vital to the holiday buying and giving experience, it steers us toward an array of digital hazards, including cyber crime and identity theft that may be facilitated through online shopping and the use of electronic gadgets. In order to protect you and your family from the most common Internet risks this holiday season, consider the following basic safety steps:
- Confirm the legitimacy of URL addresses and companies through the Better Business Bureau before providing financial information, particularly when Internet advertisements or spam emails seem too good to be true
- Utilize secure sites (search for sites beginning with HTTPS rather than HTTP to ensure the site is secure and look for the lock icon on all buying sites)
- Consider the use of payment protection options, including PayPal and security services to help keep personal and financial information secure
- Use secured WiFi networks with strong password settings when making online purchases
- Operate current Internet security software and update your security settings and applications frequently
- Utilize passwords on mobile devices, including cell phones and tablets
- For less Internet savvy shoppers, spend time familiarizing yourself with Internet capabilities, usage and scams and remain diligent in your purchasing and buying decisions
Enjoy all the Internet has to offer this holiday season!
Repost by: Hemanshu Nigam — Huffington Post