Saturday, December 12, 2015

A few online holiday shopping reminders

For those last-minute shoppers, I hope you've ordered your online gifts by now because it looks like deliveries might be delayed this year due to the big couriers like UPS and FedEx being overwhelmed with deliveries. (Note that Amazon.com has said they're going to buy their own fleet of long-haul trucks; that'll take care of the recurring holiday shipping delays in the future.)

But for those of you still shopping, here are three tips for safe shopping on the web, from Bob Sullivan's blog:

  1. Update your software first. Make sure all the latest patches are installed before you start spending online.

  2. Use two-factor authentication on e-commerce and banking sites that offer it. Amazon just recently started using this extra step that makes it really hard for your account to get hacked.

  3. Use only one credit card online. This is how I do it. I have a card that I carry with me, and another that I've memorized and use for all my online shopping and other online payments. No sites have my checking account number, and I'll never provide it.

  4. Stick with known shopping sites; if not, do your research before using a "small business" or other site that you're not familiar with, for that extra special, custom gift.

  5. Enable text alerts on banking transactions. I haven't done this one yet, but it's a good idea. I'm going to do it today. Going forward, I'll receive a text any time my credit card is used.

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