GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The busy shopping season is here and that means millions of us are doing our shopping online. Dan Hendrickson from The Better Business Bureau of North Dakota and Minnesota has some tips for keeping your information safe.

Shopping safely on mobile devices means following these protocols:

  • Making purchases via public Wi-Fi connections carries inherent risks. It’s best not to do it. Check your smartphone settings to ensure you aren’t automatically connecting to open Wi-Fi networks.
  • Be careful regarding how and where you share your financial information. When shopping online from a secure, private Wi-Fi connection, always make sure that you’re on a trustworthy website. Do your research at bbb.org.
  • Safety first. At the point of purchase, look for “https” in your browser or a “lock” symbol, as this shows the website is secure.
  • Be careful with hyperlinks. Some hyperlinks lead to websites that you do not want to visit or can infect your device with viruses or malware.
  • Do not save financial information on your device. Most devices have an “auto-save” or “auto-fill” feature that allows the user to save credit card information for future use. Saving financial information like this can potentially allow easier access to sensitive information.
  • Use the most up-to-date browser. Be sure to keep your phone and your preferred web browser updated. Newer updates tend to have better security features on them.
  • Pay with a credit card. Credit card transactions are protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
  • Keep a record of your transaction. Keep a separate folder for confirmation emails regarding any online purchases. It might also be a good idea to print out hard copies.