Our Black Friday/Cyber Monday series is nearing a conclusion as we race toward the big day! With four weeks to go, businesses should be more than prepared to handle the extra demand this year. That’s why we’re tackling a slightly different topic this week – How to stay safe as a customer while shopping online on Black Friday.
It’s fair to say online shopping has become as ubiquitous as going to the shops for us Canadians. We think nothing of keying in our credit card digits and spending an increasingly large sum online each year. Online shopping does, however, come with some added risks.
As you reach for your credit card this Black Friday, observing the following safe online shopping practices will minimize your risks of getting an unwanted surprise on your credit card statement. Here are five commonsense tips for safe online shopping this Black Friday.
Set Up Credit Card Alerts
A good tip for any time of year is to ensure you set up purchase alerts for your credit card. Most will send you text messages (or emails) when purchases are made above a certain threshold. You have the ability to set this limit lower if you’re worried you may have been compromised. Alongside this, you can set a lower limit on your card to prevent any scams getting too far out of hand if they do happen.
We’re living in the golden age of reviews. Literally anyone with access to the internet can instantly give their feedback on a product or service. There’s no need to go into a purchase decision blind. Seek out the opinions of fellow online shoppers before splashing the cash. Maybe you’ll find out the site you are buying from has slow shipping, or several customers reported their packages showing up with beaten up packaging. Purchase with confidence when you make an informed purchase.
Audit Your Passwords
Hands up if you use the same password for multiple sites? What about the same password for every site? It’s all too easy to pick one password and use it everywhere and it’s something a surprisingly large amount of people are guilty of. Simple passwords can be hacked in seconds and your digital security chain is only as strong as its weakest link. You don’t want your credit card/PayPal or bank info getting hacked into because they utilized the same password as a message board you haven’t frequented in a decade. Audit your passwords and switch them up. You’ll be glad you did.
Watch for Non-Secure Checkouts
I want you to stop reading this blog for a moment. No… Seriously! Take a look at the URL bar for this website. See the small padlock beside the GD Commerce URL? That means this site is secure and protects any data users share. This padlock is also a sign of an encrypted checkout process and it’s the current gold standard for online shopping security. Do not shop at any site that doesn’t possess this level of security. Many larger sites will now auto-populate your credit card data with the user obliged to just enter their three-digit security code. Known as “Verified by Visa” this checkout process is also extremely secure.
Shop Familiar Sites
It’s a tale as old as time. A shopper sees a smoking hot deal on a site they haven’t heard of before. They pull the trigger, then discover they’ve been sold shoddy merchandise or worse. If a deal seems too good to be true, and it’s on a site you’ve never heard of before, exercise common sense and be cautious before proceeding. Scammers are becoming more sophisticated nowadays and even if a site is legitimate, it’s still potentially vulnerable to outside threats.
Ready to Help
Want to make sure your business is ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? GD Commerce is standing by to help. Contact Us and find out how we can lessen the load.
Thank you to our GD Commerce Partners: