Keep your purchases and information safe while shopping online

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - While the convenience of online shopping is certainly appealing, it's important to remember to take steps to keep your information safe if you make online purchases.

Erik Feliciano from AT&T will visit the WECT studio on Monday and share some tips on First at Four.

Feliciano says that people will spend 51 percent of their holiday shopping budget online using smartphones, computers and social media compared to 42 percent in stores.

In a news release on Dec. 8, the Better Business Bureau said it has received 124 complaints about a single online retail business located in Longview, Texas, with claims ranging from failure to deliver goods to not responding to customer inquiries.

In order to protect your purchases, Feliciano and the BBB suggest following these guidelines if you're staying in to shop this year:

  • Don't shop online using a public Wi-Fi network. Public Wi-Fi networks are often unencrypted and unsecured, leaving you vulnerable to hackers and malware.
  • Double check websites and apps. Thieves can clone websites, so before you check out or enter your credit card information, make sure there is a "lock" symbol on the left side of the URL, which confirms it's a secure site.
  • Use a different password for each of your online shopping accounts. That way, if a thief grabs your username and password from one website, they won't be able to go on a shopping spree with your other accounts.
  • Never give out personal information online unless you initiated contact with the company.
  • Keep documentation of your order. Save a copy of the confirmation page or email confirmation until you receive the item and are satisfied.

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