By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
With Christmas less than two weeks away, people are scrambling to malls and departments stores to buy the last items on their lists. If you’re also a last-minute shopper, you can avoid the holiday rush by doing your Christmas shopping online. Do it safely with these six tips.
- Use Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. A high-quality VPN is an indispensable tool because it provides you with complete privacy and security when you shop online. A VPN encrypts your data traffic, so all sensitive financial information like your credit card numbers and bank account numbers are hidden from hackers. So before you start buying, turn on your VPN first.
Shop from secure websites only.
When shopping online, make sure you only visit websites with URLs that begin with “https://”. You can also check for the padlock icon on the left-most part of the address bar of your browser. These are two indications that the website is secure.
Never shop over public Wi-Fi.
Shopping while logged on to public Wi-Fi is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Hackers and cyberspies love hanging around unsecure networks, and using public Wi-Fi to do online shopping is a sure way to get your credit card information stolen.
Always do your online shopping at home using your personal Wi-Fi. Not only is it infinitely more comfortable, it is also safer because your private Wi-Fi is encrypted. It is harder for hackers to access your data over a secure network.
Make purchases with credit cards instead of debit cards.
Credit cards offer a safer way to shop than debit cards. Credit cards are not linked to any of your accounts, unlike debit cards that are tied to either a savings or a checking account. This means even though your credit card information is stolen, the hacker won’t be able to access your other accounts.
Be careful of certain offers.
If you see an online offer that seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Avoid these offers at all cost as they are most likely attempts by cybercriminals to lure you in and steal your information. These scams increase in number during the holidays because crooks know that people are: 1) in a hurry to get their Christmas shopping done so they may not be as careful, or 2) looking for the best deals they can get their hands on.
Buy from trusted brands.
Generally speaking, big names have more secure online shopping portals. This is because companies know that one of the reasons people buy their products is trust. These popular brands know that a breach in their security will cost them not only consumer confidence, but significant profits as well.
Shop online with Hotspot Shield.
Thinking about shopping online for Christmas? Then you need Hotspot Shield VPN, which is the perfect security program because it encrypts your data traffic. With Hotspot Shield, you can rest easy knowing that your financial information is 100% safe.
Shop online securely. Visit our website and download Hotspot Shield VPN today. It’s available for free on Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. You can also learn more about cybersecurity by checking out our blog.