5 Tips For Safe Online Holiday Shopping

The holiday shopping season is fast approaching and kicking off with Black Friday. Many of these amazing deals will be available online. If you want to avoid the crowds, the ever more popular practice of shopping online may be the way to go for you. Since for some of you the idea of shopping online can be a bit daunting, I thought I would share some tips to shop online safely during the holidays and all year long. You won't have to worry about getting your credit card data stolen or get your computer infected by malware as long as you follow these tips.  

1. When looking for stuff to buy, start by going to popular sites such as Amazon for great deals on many items, Tiger Direct for electronics and computers, or even Walmart. Basically if you have heard of it as a place to shop, it's probably a good and safe place to do so online.

2. Make sure to take a look at the reviews for each product. You don't have to read all of them. Just make sure there are a lot of them and that the overall rating is 4 or 5 stars. While it's not the only thing to look out for when buying products online, it is a good way to see that the product and the person selling it is reputable.

3. If you are using Google to search for things to buy, make sure that the links towards the top of the search results are not ads and if they are ads, DO NOT click on them!  While some ads on Google are fine, many of them are just links to scams or malware infected websites that can infect your computer. They pretty much looks like any other search result just with the yellow Ad badge. Avoid these!

4. If a website asks you to download something and it's not a digital product or service, Avoid It! It could be a virus or malware infection waiting to load itself onto your computer. A reputable website will Never ask you to download anything to your computer for physical goods. It is ok to download digital products from the web as long as the site is reputable. Sites like Amazon are good places to get digital goods.

5. And as always, backup your data and keep your computer clean and up to date! This will ensure that your data is safe and you are less likely to have something bad happen to your computer.

I hope these tips have helped you to shop safer online. If you have any questions or comments please drop me a line at kellyn@gattai.net. If you'd like to hire me to do a security check on your computer, a virus removal, or any other computer software related job, click the button below to book an appointment. Have a Happy Holiday Season!