Last-minute shopping? Here’s how to help keep your personal information safe online

·3-min read

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Norton Security Online
Use online holiday shopping best practices. (Photo: Getty)

Calling all last-minute holiday shoppers: Have you noticed a huge uptick in emails and texts containing suspicious links? Do you encounter a lot more websites that just don’t seem legit? It’s not a coincidence. Hackers take advantage of the busy, harried holiday season to double-down on their attempts to scam you online.

Scammers love to target online shoppers specifically, as a lot of transactions are being made and personal information shared. People just trying to get into the holiday spirit can find themselves falling for traps like rogue websites or phishing links — in the worst-case scenario, malicious software can hijack their computers, they'll can lose money or they'll have their identities stolen.

The easiest way to avoid being scammed when you’re doing your online holiday shopping is to trust a company that makes internet security its business. Norton Security Online helps protect your PC, Mac and mobile devices and helps you avoid identity theft for just $4.99 a month. The best part? The service is free to try for 30 days before you commit.

Norton Security Online (Photo: subscriptions.yahoo.com)
Norton Security Online (Photo: subscriptions.yahoo.com)

Norton Security Online keeps a watchful eye over your online activity and transactions, and the software intercepts as soon as something seems off. As you click around to different sites in search of perfect last-minute gifts, it provides real-time protection against viruses, ransomware and malware.

It lets you know if a WiFi network carries security risks or the app you’re about to download seems suspicious. Norton Security Online also blocks bogus and malicious websites before they even have a chance to reach you. It even gives your PC a tune-up so you can get your holiday shopping done faster!

Shop it: Norton Security Online, $4.99 a month after a 30-day free trial, subscriptions.yahoo.com

Fraudsters are ubiquitous this holiday season. The FBI even has a section of their website specifically dedicated to educating the public about how to avoid scammers during the holiday season.

“The two most prevalent of these holiday scams are non-delivery and non-payment crimes,” the FBI says. “In a non-delivery scam, a buyer pays for goods or services they find online, but those items are never received. Conversely, a non-payment scam involves goods or services being shipped, but the seller is never paid.” Both scams involve getting duped by bogus websites.

There are some basic ways you can avoid being scammed. No matter what, only shop on sites you know and trust. Don’t click on links that come from unknown phone numbers or email addresses, even if the senders claim to be from trusted businesses. Similarly, if a company calls you claiming there’s an issue with your payment, hang up and call back using a phone number you’ve looked up yourself so that you can verify you’re actually calling the company and not scammers.

Norton Security Online (Photo: subscriptions.yahoo.com)
Norton Security Online (Photo: subscriptions.yahoo.com)

And invest in Norton Security Online, a comprehensive service that protects up to five of your devices at the same time — from desktop and laptop computers to tablets to smartphones —.by blocking fraudulent websites trying to steal your identity and money. Norton Security Online also disables WiFi auto-connect, regularly logs out of sites that contain your financial information and even features a password manager that helps you create secure passwords unlikely to be guessed by scammers. In short, the software goes the extra mile to help keep your online transactions safe.

Take the right precautions now and ensure that your holidays are merry and bright.

Shop it: Norton Security Online, $4.99 a month after a 30-day free trial, subscriptions.yahoo.com

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