How to shop safely during the holidays

Sophia Oswald

The internet goes way beyond cat videos and social media. It has become a shopping mall of sorts. You can find so many different products for sale online and more are added everyday.

People love being able to purchase things from the comfort of their own home. It can be inconvenient having to deal with traffic going to a store, waiting in line and the like. It’s also great because you are no longer restricted to your geographical location. You can buy things from all over and usually have them shipped within days. With the holidays quickly approaching more and more people are heading to the internet to buy gifts, shopping online can be dangerous though, and it’s important to stay alert when making online purchases.

“I have shopped online before and I like it because it’s easier than having to go out to the stores,” said Molly Dewerff, freshman early childhood education major. “I do know the dangers behind it, but I know how to be careful and I know what sites are the safest to use.”

Identity theft and credit card fraud can happen to anyone. To be safe shoot for shopping with a company or organization that is well known. Maybe ask your family or friends if they have shopped on the website before and if it was a good site to use. Also, don’t shop using a public computer and try to shop from your own home rather than out where people could see your information.

When asked if he has shopped online, Christian Book, sophomore accounting major, said, “Yes, I have shopped online. I enjoy it more than shopping in the store because I don’t even have to leave my house. As a banker I am aware of the risks, so I only shop on secure sites.”

Here are a few quick tips:

– Make sure your passwords aren’t easy to guess.

– It would be good to have a firewall or an anti-virus system set up on your computer.

– Buy from credible sources and check for reviews on all of the sites you shop or on a specific product you’re getting ready to purchase.

– Keep a copy of your receipt somewhere you won’t misplace it until your package comes

– With certain banks you can set up a password that must be used every time you make a purchase, but again make sure this password won’t be easily guessed.

There are many benefits to shopping online and it can be really fun, but don’t let this blind you from what can happen if you don’t shop safely. It’s worth it to take the time to make sure you are buying from a secure source.