But it also poses traps, including identity theft. Joan Jensen, CEO and president of Central Credit Union of Illinois came into our ABC 7 Eyewitness News studio to share tips for shopping smart.
1. Don't Blind Date Online Vendors
- Don't let a search engine set you up for a relationship with a vendor. If you are searching for an item and comparison-shopping, use Amazon or PriceGrabber to find items and compare prices.
- Don't click on unsolicited e-mails or texts. If you are interested in an item, get the web address from a trusted source and type the address in yourself.
2. Don't Show Them Your Money
- Never wire money, mail a check, or send a money order to pay for an item. You have no way to get your money back if your purchase never arrives.
- Credit cards beat debit cards for online purchases. If your debit card information is breached, your checking account could be drained until your case is investigated.
- For online activity use one card. Limit exposure to fraud by using only one card for all online activity.
- Use trusted third parties as your agent. Minimize how many vendors have your card information. Only use secure sites with an address beginning with https.
- Monitor your accounts frequently.
3. Keep Your Relationship Private
- Say NO to public Wi-Fi connections.
- Protect your computer from Malware. Malware, short for malicious software, is software used to gather sensitive information about a person without their knowledge, including Internet surfing habits, user logins, and bank or credit account information. Visit download.cnet.com or PCMag.com to upload free anti-malware.