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Technical Information

Shop online safely with tips from MACC’s Techs

by MACC’s Technical Support Team

With the current events going on in the world, shopping online for your holiday gifts has quickly become the safest and most attractive option. While the convenience is obvious, sometimes the online threats are not. As more and more shoppers are becoming reliant on the internet, the number of scams is increasing as well.

Most of us receive hundreds of emails a day, and if your inbox is anything like mine, at least half of those are some sort of coupon, alert to a sale, or deal at my favorite online store. In my inbox, it seems like half of those coupons and deals are phishing scams. These scams are easy to spot, as long as you know what to look for. Anything with a misspelling of your name or an odd sender address is an easy way to spot someone trying to steal your information. An easy way to ensure the deal or sale is real is to go to that store’s website directly and verify the information.

Now, when you’re on these sites, you have to be very careful with your credit card. While you can typically feel safe paying online, there are some precautions you can take. Any payment method requiring two factor authentication is a good place to start. Many banks and credit cards have this option, as well as online payment methods such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. These payment options force a login, which then sends a confirmation email, text, or call – further ensuring no one can get your information without your permission.

These days, ads are pretty much everywhere…from the TV shows you watch to the websites you visit. Even the first few results in Google are always ads. One way to cut down on this clutter is to get a reputable ad blocker. This move will help eliminate some or all of the ads, and they are available across various platforms, including computers, phones, and tablets. The danger of these ads is they are not always what they appear. If you see an ad for a new gift you want to get yourself or a loved one, your best bet is to first search online for the company or product. Oftentimes, these ads are going to be a way of harvesting information from you. In some cases, ads can be compromised and even end up infecting your computer with a virus.

With these basic safety precautions, you should be able to safely and securely shop online!

Your MACC Technical Support Team can be reached at 402-533-5300 or via email at [email protected].

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