When the children’s story How the Grinch Stole Christmas was published in 1957, there was no such thing as online shopping. If there had been, the Grinch might not have grown a big heart and returned what he stole. Instead, he probably would have done what today’s mean-spirited thieves do—disappeared into cyberspace with his loot, never to be heard from again.
Having a modern day Grinch steal your money or identity can ruin your holiday. Here are tips to protect you from cyber-crooks:
Make sure your software is up-to-date. Protecting yourself before you start shopping can help you stay safe. Keep your virus protection, firewalls and browser current.
Research new or unfamiliar companies. Know your seller is a great rule. Check the Better Business Bureau’s free web site to make sure there are no complaints listed against a company you’re unfamiliar with. Examine online reviews, and verify whatever security endorsements the site claims to have. Finally, consider buying a low priced item to see if you encounter any problems.
Use the same credit card for all your online shopping. Putting transactions on a single card makes it easier to spot unauthorized charges. Plus, in case of theft, you’ll only have to cancel one card. Check with your credit card provider to learn the rules for virtual account numbers. These can be limited by date or merchant, which helps reduce the possibility of misuse.