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10 Holiday Shopping TipsNovember 21st, 2014 | by admin admin | in Security Advice | 15
Are you ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Time to brush off your savvy shopping skills. Here are some tips for keeping costs in line while you play Santa.
1. Make a list, check it twice. Santa had the right idea. Does your dog really need that Canucks jersey? And who decreed you had to buy your hairdresser, school janitor and sister-in-law’s great-aunt Sadie a year’s supply of Starbucks?
2. Stay on budget. Use cash instead of credit to avoid the January blues. Consumers who overspend on holiday shopping do so, on average, by a whopping $467.
3. Spot the scams. Don’t spend your budget on crooks. The Canadian Bankers Association warns about e-cards spreading viruses, social media scams and fake charities. You will find more scams on the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre’s list and McAfee’s 12 Scams of the Holidays.
4. Watch your cards. In the holiday rush, it’s easy to lose your credit or debit cards. Report any lost or stolen cards promptly, and guard your PIN. Better yet, use cash (see tip 2).
5. Secure your connection. Shopping online? Use only secure connections. Look for “https” in the URL, a closed padlock symbol and the logo of a reputable encryption service. Avoid public wifi networks for financial transactions.
6. Secure your computer. Ensure your anti-virus, firewall and other security software is up to date.
7. Know your dealers. Whether online or in person, deal with reputable retailers you trust.
8. Shop early. The earlier you shop, the less pressure you’ll feel to snap up overpriced “bargains” in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Discount prices can be as much as 57 per cent above normal. Give yourself time to shop around. Plus, putting in your online order early will avoid disappointment.
9. Beware hidden costs. Many US retailers ship to Canada, but be prepared for Canada Post to turn your package over to the Canada Border Services Agency and collect a fee for doing so. Plus you’ll have to pay CBSA’s customs assessment when you pick up your package.
10. Keep your receipts. This will save you a lot of headaches when you need to return gifts. While online, print off your receipts, confirmation numbers and other documentation so you have a paper trail.
Bonus tip: Remember to take some time for yourself. Shopping on a full stomach and in a good mood will make it easier to resist so-called “sales.” Bring a friend along to help you keep a healthy perspective on shopping. Perhaps you can indulge yourself a little now so that you don’t go overboard on Boxing Day.
InternetSecure: 10 Ways to Protect Yourself While Shopping Online this Season
Canadian Bankers Association: Holiday Scam Checklist
Note: This blog discusses general safety and security topics. It is not intended to provide comprehensive advice or guidance. In all matters of personal safety and security, we encourage readers to research topics in depth and consult a security professional about specific concerns.
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