Landstar professionals put safety first with everything they do, but this holiday season there’s another item to add to your safety check list – keeping your personal information secure. With the online holiday shopping season expected to boom it is the most important time of the year to take the right steps to keep your personal information protected.
According to sales research from the U.S. Department of Commerce approximately $63.1 billion was spent online during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Making Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.
Online shopping is ideal for avoiding long lines and busy crowded malls, but consumers should be aware and take these extra steps to make sure their holiday shopping doesn’t give opportunistic thieves any private information.
If you’re planning on making your holiday purchases online this year, follow these five safe online shopping tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
- Careful clicking – Beware of clicking on links from unfamiliar websites and only shop with trusted sites from familiar retailers. Phishing schemes are common during the holiday season and intended to lure uneducated online shoppers to false sites developed to steal their data. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Look for the lock – Only shop on secure websites. Secure sites start with https:// instead of http:// and also have a small padlock icon on the lower-right corner of the screen. Unfortunately these indicators are not foolproof, some fraudulent sites have forged security icons to trick unsuspecting shoppers.
- Pay by credit card – According to the FTC, if you pay by credit card your transaction may be protected by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Under this law, shoppers may be able to dispute potential fraudulent charges. For applicable terms, please check the terms on your credit cards to see how you’re protected.
- Check your billing statements and keep records – After you shop, check your credit and debit card statements regularly and print out any records or receipts from your shopping transactions. Read your credit card statements and if there are charges you don’t recognize, address them immediately.