Between dodging angry customers and digging through the leftovers, shopping during the holidays has become quite the hassle. Luckily, online shopping and sales are now more available for consumers. Retailers, as well as online burglars, have taken notice to this dramatic online increase.
This year “Cyber Monday” sales were spread throughout the week, some even extending into the following week. Without the hassle of driving to the mall, walking through the aisles and standing in those unnecessarily long lines, online shopping seems to make more sense, especially with Cyber Monday.
What doesn’t make sense is identify theft. Sometimes when you think you have crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s with discretion, you end up handing your information to the wrong people. When purchasing gifts online this holiday season, follow these simple rules to help ensure your identity remains your own.
Does the online retailer have any business ratings? At the bottom of the webpage or on the checkout page, can you find any “verifications” proving that this business has been tested and is legitimate? You can also check with the Better Business Bureau for verification. If you can't find any form of legitimacy on the website, then don't purchase from that retailer. It can be a spammy website or even worse, an identity theft trap.
The online bookstore or Nana’s favorite candle store does not need your social security number. It doesn’t matter if they promise you they won’t use it, sell it or give it away. Just by typing your social online, you are exposing yourself to cyber hackers who could be following your every move, just waiting for that 9-digit number to appear. Use your best judgement and be wearing of posting that number online.
- Keep Tabs
Be your own bank and monitor your online activity through your personal bank statements. Have you noticed an unusually large purchase or see a business you’ve never heard of on your statement? Contact your bank immediately. It is more effective to regularly check your bank account than waiting for your bank to call you. They might not always catch what you can.
If you have any questions or would like more information, contact Kipper Insurance Agency today (760)471-2200!