1. Shop businesses you trust: Be sure to only shop online with companies that you know and trust. You should be the one initiating the transaction – don’t follow prompts to visit websites and enter information. Also, make sure the url begins with “https” rather than “http” and check for a small lock icon in the lower right corner of your screen indicating that the site is secure.
2. Guard your personal info: When making a purchase online, don’t provide any personal information that you don’t think is necessary to complete the transaction. Be sure to read the terms and conditions you’re agreeing to, and don’t store your information on websites in case there’s a data breach.
3. When in doubt, don’t click: Cybercriminals often use links in emails, social media posts, digital ads and texts to try to steal your personal information or install malware on your device. Don’t click on links or attachments that make you skeptical or come from businesses you don’t know. If you’re interested in a product, visit the site directly from your web browser.
4. Protect your money: Use payment options like Mobile Wallet to check out quickly while keeping your information secure. Monitor your bank statements and use apps like MobiMoney to protect yourself from fraudulent purchases.
5. Know what to expect: Read customer reviews and return policies to make sure you want to move forward with the purchase. Remember that free trials always include a subscription to the product and will require future payments. You should also watch out for deals that sound too good to be true, because it could be a fraudulent product.
6. Keep your devices up to date: Be proactive by making sure your laptops, phones, tablets and other devices are up to date. Software updates typically protect against potential security issues. It’s also important to have updated virus software.