Online shopping is here to stay. While it is convenient and easy, it isn’t without risks. At LifeFone, our priority is your physical safety, but we also want to make sure you are shopping safely on-line. We’ve listed a few precautions for seniors shopping on-line.
Shopping online is a great tool if you have limited mobility or other health concerns that could keep you from entering the marketplace on a regular basis or even simply for the sake of saving time. In today’s e-commerce market, you can order virtually anything with a click or two of a button. While that is a great tool to have, it doesn’t come without some risks.
A generation ago, the internet was not common-place in homes across America. With 41% of baby boomers and 28% of seniors clicking to make a purchase, the rate of fraud also increases. Unfortunately, many people are too trusting or simply unaware of the ways their finances can be harmed by shopping online.
With a few precautions, it’s easier to trust your online shopping experience.
Always make sure you are shopping from a secure location. Unless you are using a mobile hot-spot, shopping from the library or a coffee shop can leave you vulnerable to attack.
Shop from secure retailers only. Shop online from websites that begin with https rather than just “http.” An easy way to remember this is that the “s” means secure. These sites have an added layer of data protection to ensure that your information is transmitted directly to the retailer—and only to the retailer.
Protect access to your card information. As a rule, don’t allow anyone else other than immediate, trusted family members to make purchases on your behalf using your credit/debit card. Don’t send or store credit card information via emails, over the phone or on unprotected sites.
Don’t give your non-family member caregiver your credit/debit card information. Unfortunately, sharing this information has frequently led to elder fraud abuse.
Avoid making any purchases from pop-up windows or emails. Ignore unsolicited emails and pop-up windows. Visit store sites directly for products in which you are interested.
Shopping online can be much more efficient, can save time and money, and be a great tool for you, yet it’s important that you stay alert to any areas of concern. Trust your instincts when it comes to visiting sites. If you follow these few safety tips, chances are you will not only spot security threats when they arise, you will be able to shop confidently knowing you are protected.