The holiday shopping season is here, and you’re probably very excited to nab some great deals online. But before you start shopping on your workstation PC, make sure that you have the proper security measures in place. With so many people buying stuff online, it’s a popular time for identity thieves to steal your personal information. A little bit of safeguarding goes a long way in protecting it.

Let’s go over some tips for a safe online holiday shopping season.

  • Keep Your Machines Clean: Your gaming computer should be updated with the latest security software and operating system. In fact, all the devices you use for holiday shopping should be updated with the most recent apps and programs.
  • Check for Legitimate Sites: When accessing a website on your gaming PC, check to see if the padlock is on your web browser’s address bar, along with http or https. This indicates that the purchase is secure.
  • Watch for Bad Links: Links in emails, tweets and posts are commonly used by cybercriminals to access personal information. If any link looks suspicious, delete it, even if it supposedly comes from a trusted source.
  • Be Wary of Problem Orders: If there are deals that look too good to be true, be on the defense, especially if there is a problem with the order. Sometimes you’ll be sent a link asking you to “verify” the information.
  • Watch for Unsecured Networks: A quiet afternoon online shopping at Starbucks may sound appealing, but be careful about sharing personal or financial information over unsecured networks. Either wait until you get home to make the purchase, or use the direct web access on your phone.
  • Limit Information: Pay attention to the information that is needed to complete the transaction. Only fill out the required forms, and avoid giving more than what is needed to make the purchase.
  • Use Safe Payment Options: Credit cards are the safest way to make a purchase because you can dispute the order later if need be. Refrain from sending cash or wiring money.

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