DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The days of camping in front of stores for the best Black Friday deals are over. Now, shoppers are camped out on websites, hoping to grab some discounted Christmas gifts on a computer or smartphone. However, there is a potential cost for that convenience unless you take the proper steps to safeguard your personal information.
Mobile shopping will account for 35 percent of sales this holiday season, according to Adobe Analytics. So, be sure to take full advantage of your phone’s security features. From passcodes to fingerprint scanners to facial recognition, anything that adds an extra layer of protection is recommended.
Also, try to limit the amount of times that you enter your credit card details. Services such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Mastercard’s Masterpass and Visa Checkout will all help keep your information in one protected place, instead of giving it out to dozens of merchants, any of which could see a security breach.
Even though it is convenient, do not be tempted to use public Wi-Fi networks while shopping online. You should imagine that any information sent by your phone can be seen by anyone else on the network, so it is better to use your own home network or cellular data for mobile purchases.
Before you even get to the payment page, check for little clues that the website or app is legitimate and secure. In your internet browser, make sure that there is a green closed lock icon near the site’s address to verify that the page is safe. You must also be very careful that shopping apps are indeed what they claim to be.
Finally, you will likely receive many emails about online deals at your favorite retailers. But it is best to visit the store’s website through your internet browser instead of clicking through from an email. There are a number of phishing scams out there that use convincing emails to take you to fake merchant pages, enticing you to simply hand over your personal information.