The hunt for playful wardrobe additions, snagging those early fall previews, snapping up steals & deals - and all sans annoying crowds, lines and other annoyances of shopping offline. Plus there's the fact that all your new treasures are delivered right to your door. Fabulous.
Not so fabulous: while you're busy stalking online bargains, hackers are busily stalking you and setting sneaky traps that ensnared a good 20% of online shoppers last year alone, according to Consumer Reports.
Fortunately, you can fight back, and for free! AVG Technologies has been in the anti-virus protection biz for years, and currently helps over 110 million people around the globe stay safe. Their AVG LinkScanner software analyzes the web pages behind any links or sites you're viewing to make sure they're not one of those 24-hour "here today, gone tomorrow" web threats lurking almost everywhere these days, from small sites to government pages to well-known brands. The AVG Identity Protection feature keeps an eye on how programs on your computer interact and if something seems fishy (or phish-y for that matter) shuts that activity down to protect your credit card numbers, passwords, banking info and other private data. And AVG Internet Security 9.0 combines a firewall, identity protection, and antivirus detection against developing new threats. In other words, they help you and your files stay safe whether you're surfing, searching, emailing, chatting, social networking, banking, or, yes, shopping.
Here are a few tips from AVG Technologies to help you stay smart and sexy while you bargain hunt...and avoid becoming the hunted:
- Look for the “https” in the URL. The “s” ensures security.
- A locked padlock icon in the address bar or on the bottom right corner is also a good sign: it means the site is approved by a trusted third party.
- If the Internet address bar is green, it means you are probably safe from phishing and online fraud, as it requires an ‘extended validation SSL certificate.’- Limit your shopping to trusted online sites or brands that have a safe reputation for added peace of mind.
- Lastly: bear in mind that no security solution can replace common sense. When in doubt, don’t make the transaction or give away any personal information.
- For more handy dandy safety tips, be sure to check out this fun video featuring the Brainy AVG Guy.
- Lesley Scott
(NOTE: This post may have been sponsored by AVG Technologies, but the words and opinions are 100% ours.)