Before you take advantage of early bird Black Friday deals online — or the Cyber Monday and Cyber Week deals that will follow — take a few seconds to check the security of the websites where you plan to shop.
We hand over sensitive information — everything from addresses and phone numbers to credit card numbers, expiration dates and security codes — when shopping online. Checking a website’s security rating is one way to confirm the site is safe before you provide personal data.
Organizations such as cybersecurity software companies provide free online tools that rate websites based on their security. They include:
- AVG’s Threat Labs
- Google’s Safe Browsing Site Status
- Norton’s Safe Web
- Trend Micro’s Site Safety Center
- Web of Trust (WOT)
All of these tools are free. They’re also web-based, so you don’t have to download anything to be able to use them — although Web of Trust offers a browser extension and an Android app that you can download if you wish.
To use these services, simply enter the address of a website you want to check. You won’t be asked to provide any other information.
To learn more about how to protect yourself online this holiday shopping season and beyond, check out “7 Ways to Guard Your Wallet — and Identity — When Shopping Online.”
Have you ever used a tool like these? Or do you take other precautions when shopping online? Let us know below or over on our Facebook page.