‘Tis the season to start stimulating the economy! While you begin your hunt for the perfect holiday gifts, there are a few tips and tricks we can give to help you make the most of your holiday shopping.
1. Keep yourself safe
The last thing you need to do while shopping is spread your credit card information to “others.” Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that the payment method you are using online is secure. The image below is your friend. If you don’t have a secure link, you risk exposing your financial information to hackers.
There are two threats of which you must be aware. The first is the website you visit. The second is how you reach it.
Public WiFi points are easy targets. If there isn’t an SSL connection, anyone on the public access point has the ability to see what you are posting. Therefore, it is imperative to be aware that public access is just that– public.
2. Shop from trustworthy sites
Anyone can open an online store. That said, it is important to make sure you know the source of your shop. Beyond simply looking for an SSL, try to make sure that the business from which you are shopping is legitimate. A couple of quick Google searches can make it a little easier. If you can’t find a phone number to call, or some other way of contacting the sellers, be wary.
3. Make your purchases count for something more
If you’re looking to buy from large sellers, check to see if they have a way of giving back. For example, Amazon has their Amazon Smile program, which gives .5% of your purchases back to a local charity of your choice. Here at the Davis office, for example, many of the employees chose WhyMe, a non-profit that supports the families of children with cancer (Full disclosure: They’re our client; check them out at whyme.org). Many other online retailers, both small and large, have programs similar to this. Tom’s shoes is another company that does something similar, yet slightly different; they give a pair of shoes to people in need for every pair someone buys. If you have the option to buy for the same price, and provide some funds to a charity at the same time, why not?