The Internet becomes abuzz with holiday gift shopping come mid-October. This is when most major retailers begin slowly pumping out their holiday marketing content in order to get the attention of early gift buyers. As the late December deadlines draw nearer, marketing campaigns intensify with a fever pitch and millions of consumers flood online ecommerce shops with purchases.
In all of the hustle and bustle, many online shoppers forget that safety should always come first. Otherwise, the gift they might get during this holiday season is a long call with their bank in order to argue credit card fraud or theft.
Be smart during your online holiday shopping and start gearing up for the last shopping weeks of the year using these four very simple tips.
1. Only shop with established ecommerce stores.
Many online articles will tell consumers to only stick to familiar stores and big-name brands, like official Amazon goods or Best Buy, etc. We don’t think that’s fair — there are thousands of underdog Shopify stores out there that aren’t always at the top of everyone’s “familiar stores” list.
Instead of only going with what you know, make sure that every store you purchase from is one that is vetted via legitimate online reviews. Ask friends and look for testimonials on Shopify storefronts. If you think something is fishy, look for another ecommerce establishment.
2. Never save credit card information with store accounts.
During this time of year when shopping is hectic (even online), we often fall victim to convenience. You know you’re going to be purchasing from a store again, so why not save your credit card info for easy checkout next time?
This is one of the number one ways someone becomes the victim of credit card fraud during the holidays. Hackers break into online store accounts and make purchases with your credit can and simply differentiate the shipping and billing addresses. Don’t save credit card numbers online, period!
3. Https or bust.
All secure transactions are made using SSL, and you can tell whether or not a store uses SSL via the URL given during checkout. You’ll see that there is an “s” either after “http” or before it, and this indicates the connection is secure. The SSL encrypts this information exchange so no sneaky Internet hackers can peek in on this transaction.
Shopify does allow for storeowners to use SSL certificates, so there’s no excuse not to have secure transactions — Rewind does!
4. Check your statements.
Unless you have a tight hold on your finances, many people don’t know how much they’ve spent on holiday gifts down to the penny. When they receive a credit card statement that’s actually a few hundred dollars over the amount, they usually don’t bat an eye. It sounds right to them and they send a payment through.
Instead of simply assuming your credit card is being protected, make sure you look over all holiday transactions. Compare your email receipts to the credit card transaction totals and always look for purchases that you don’t recall making. In many cases you probably didn’t.