Fake sites. Credit card swindles. Phishing. Spoofing. These are all ways of getting fleeced when shopping online.
While you may not have these problems walking into a bricks-and-mortar store, you need to be extra vigilant when cybershopping.
Here are some quick tips from Jerry Chen, CEO of Firewalla, a cybersecurity company:
1. Instead of clicking on a link in an email or online advertisement, type the web address for the site you want to shop directly into your web browser.
2. Before you check out make sure the site is secure and check for HTTPS:// in the web browser.
3. Triple-check the spelling of a website in your web browser if you do click on a link to make sure you really are shopping on the site you think you are.
4. Use a device that will automatically block any malicious sites and ads for any device that is connected to your home network. Keep in mind that sites from certain countries like China and Russia that might be spoofing the real site you were trying to reach eliminating the potential for you to be fooled.
5. As an added layer of protection, consider using a pre-paid gift card or pre-loaded credit card for your online purchases so thieves cannot steal your real financial information.
Want some more advice on how to avoid online fraud? Here are some solid tips from the Federal Trade Commission.