Today, we are surrounded by technology, and we use this every day. For some people, online shopping is a game changer. It allows you to purchase gifts, necessities, even groceries without leaving your home or your office, which can help you have more free time or better balance a schedule. In addition, online shopping is a must-have for businesses, as you can easily access the items you need without having to take up man-hours sending someone to the store, as well as save money on office supplies by comparison shopping.
While online shopping can be a godsend, it can also be dangerous if you’re not careful. Aside from online predators out there trying to steal your identity, there are other mischievous characters following UPS and FedEx trucks around town with the intention of stealing unmanned packages at doorsteps. This is especially true if you have a home-based business, as you may deal with regular package deliveries. If you are a regular online shopper, or even if you do it every now and then, use the following tips to protect yourself and your deliveries.
Verify the website.
One of the easiest ways scammers get a hold of your information is by creating fake websites that ask you to provide specific information, such as a social security number. Before you place an online order, be sure you check the website to ensure it’s legit. For instance, always try to stick to buying items from named sites, such as Amazon, Etsy, or even Target or Walmart. If you do use a random site, check to ensure the site is protected by looking for an https:// before providing any credit card information. Also, if the site asks you for anything strange, such as a mother’s maiden name or a driver’s license number when this info should be required, then move on to another site.
When you operate a business, especially a small business, chances are that multiple people may have access to secure information, such as website passwords or even company credit card information. To keep yourself safe, be sure to use unique passwords for different websites and only give password information to those who actually need it. To be even more safe, you can always opt to change the password every 90 days or so to ensure it’s not lingering out there in the wrong hands.
Monitor financial transactions.
If someone steals your financial information or personal information, they will use it to take out credit cards or loans. If you carefully monitor your financial information as well as your personal and company credit profiles, you can catch false purchases before they spiral out of control. This is why it’s important to keep receipts for all transactions you have, so you can prove a false purchase if you need to.
If you deal with package delivery on a regular basis, it would be a good idea to protect your online shopping deliveries. The best way to do this is to consider installing cameras in areas where your packages are delivered, whether at a front or back door. Having a camera can be enough to deter a thief from coming to take unwatched packages. In addition, should someone come to take your package, the camera can provide police officers with information to help them catch the criminal.
As a business owner, there will come times when employees decide to leave the company (or some will be asked to leave). When either of these situations occurs, you should cancel any credit cards you currently have and get new ones. Not all past employees will use this info to do harm to the company, but some, unfortunately, will. In order to protect yourself, swap out the card for a new one with a new number.
Online purchases are a great option for many businesses, but when it comes to making purchases online or having items delivered, it’s important to take necessary steps to protect yourself and your company.
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