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The Twelve Online Shopping Tips of Christmas

The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a hectic one. Work is wrapping up for the year, you’ve got Christmas parties to go to, and one more important thing Christmas shopping. 
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, but that doesn’t mean all of your gifts are purchased. With time running out before Christmas trying to find that last minute gift you need can be difficult, and stressful, so it’s no surprise that almost 70% of Americans are choosing to shop online.

Online shopping has become part of every day life, though there are still a few gotchas to look out for. You’ve heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas, well here are The Twelve Online Shopping Tips of Christmas to keep you safe while shopping on the internet:

1, Buy from reputable sellers This sounds obvious but websites can pop up out of nowhere, are you sure you can trust the site you’re entering your details into? Ask about and see if your friends know the site. If possible use a well known site such as Amazon.
2, Look for the lock Whenever you enter your credit card details make sure that you see the padlock icon in your browser address bar. This means there’s a secure connection between you and the website.
look for the lock
3, Don’t tell all When you’re creating an online account only give out relevant information. A sure sign of a questionable website is asking for too much information such as your social security number or other valuable information. 
4, Only use credit cards for online purchases Purchases made using your credit card are protected by your card issuer. If there’s a problem with your order, you can request a chargeback and get your money back. Payments made using a debit card are not covered and you’ll lose your money if something goes wrong.
5, Double check your credit card statements When you’re buying lots of gifts online you might have multiple entries on your credit card statement. Check each entry carefully to make sure you recognize the purchase. If you don’t that could be a sign of fraud so call your credit card issuer immediately.
6, Make sure your computer is running an up-to-date antivirus program A common kind of virus is a keylogger. It sits on your computer and watches everything you type, looking for credit card numbers and then sending them back to hacker groups. Keep your anti-virus up to date and perform regular scans to catch any unwanted malware.
7, Use strong passwords when creating accounts on online stores Hackers use an attack method called Brute Force’. They try multiple passwords to try and force their way into your account. the more complex your password is, the harder it is to guess. I recommend a browser plugin called Last Pass to generate and keep your passwords safe.
8, Mobile apps can be helpful, but if you install one for an online store, check the permissions it’s asking for. Some apps might request access to your contact list or other personal information on your phone. When this happens ask yourself Does this app really need access to this information?”
9, Shop early to leave enough time for delivery Christmas is the busiest time for the post office and couriers. Try to leave a extra few days to account for any delays in receiving your package.
10, Ship to your workplace, or where someone is available during the day to receive your delivery. Thieves are on the lookout for packages left on doorsteps, especially this time of year.
11, Get a tracking number This way you’ll know the whereabouts of your package and the expected delivery date. You can also use the tracking number to contact the courier and arrange delivery time or collection.

12, Beware of high restocking fees Before you make a purchase, check if there’s a restocking fee or not. Don’t get caught out after the fact by an unreasonable fee.

If you follow these tips, I’m sure you’ll have a safer online shopping experience.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Telelink,

Jim Montgomery

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