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B.C. RCMP unwrap some safe online shopping tips for the holidays

Online shopping can be done safely and securely, if you take these precautions
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has offered up some tips to help safely do online shopping over the holiday season. (Vernon North Okanagan RCMP)

He’s a mean one, that Mr. Grinch.

And the RCMP has some online shopping advice consumers can use to keep the Grinches at bay this holiday season.

“Online shopping can be easy and convenient and a great way to quickly cross those names off your list,” Vernon North Okanagan Media Relations Officer Const. Chris Terleski said. “In order to get the goods, you’ll need to share some personal details such as your name, address, or credit card information. Even though there is some risk to it, there are things you can do to keep those transactions as secure as possible and safeguard your personal and financial information.”

Here are some tips from the RCMP to help you navigate the world of online shopping safely and securely:

• Secure websites display a closed padlock in the web address bar. Open or missing padlocks mean the data isn’t secure;

• Avoid making purchases on public wifi and shop using your own data connection or through a virtual privacy network (VPN);

• Avoid sites that are poorly designed or have poor graphics, they are likely a spoof;

• Shop around retailers before purchasing. If an offer seems to good to be true, it probably is;

• Checkout as a guest to avoid saving your personal information;

• Utilize multi-factor authentication such as a pin or a fingerprint to verify login;

• Use passphrases instead of passwords where possible;

• Monitor your bank accounts and credit card statements regularly. Watch for and report any suspicious activity or transactions as soon as possible to your financial institution.

“Pay attention to the sites you are visiting and keep an eye out for anything that seems out of the ordinary,” said Terleski. “Know what to look for, what to avoid, and trust your instincts. If it seems suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is.”

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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