During the 2017 holiday shopping season, for the first time ever, more people used their mobile devices to shop online than their desktop computers.
This trend towards shopping on an iPhone or iPad is partially due to the focus of retailers improving the mobile shopping experience. It’s easy to browse, click, and ship in a few minutes.
Most people use their iPad at home, and think of it as an extension of their computer. However, using your mobile device is different than using a computer and worth some extra consideration.
Here are 5 keys to safely shopping on our iPhone or iPad:
1 - Keep iOS software up to date
- Hackers are constantly trying to comprise the safety of your iPhone and iPad, and in response, Apple works diligently to address vulnerabilities.
- Keeping your software up to date is the best way to ensure your iPhone and iPad is protected against hackers.
- Apple also has high security standards for apps on the App store, so keeping your apps up to date is equally important.
2 - Connect to a trusted Wi-Fi network
- When possible, it’s best to shop using your home or work wi-fi network.
- Avoid using public wi-fi, especially at busy locations like airport, since online shopping exposes your personal and financial information.
- It’s possible for people with the right equipment to intercept your signal and view your personal information, including payment information.
3 - Shop from credible sources
- Companies that specialize in shopping like Amazon, Zappos, and major retailers work hard to ensure your online safety and are credible shopping sources.
- When shopping directly at the product manufacturers site, or from smaller retailers, look for secure payment processing backed by companies like PayPal, Stripe, or Amazon checkout.
4 - Visit the secured website (https)
- When visiting a website to shop online, it’s always wise to check for a lock symbol next to the website address.
- If using Safari, you can also click on the website address to verify the complete website address begins with https.
- If the retailer has an app, it’s now typically safer to use than the mobile website, since there are more controls and Apple has high standards for app security.
5 - Avoid saving personal information
- I keep my personal information saved in my Amazon account, but for other shopping sources, I typically checkout as a guest.
- This avoids keeping your personal information, and more importantly your payment information sitting on the databases of many retailers.
- If I do save my payment information, I’ll use a credit card rather than a debit card, since credit cards typically have better fraud protection.
Following these guidelines will increase your chances of safely shopping online, but as with everything in today’s world it’s up to you to use your own judgment. If something seems suspicious, or too good to be true, it probably is.