How to protect your personal information while online shopping
WINNIPEG -- With Manitoba businesses unable to sell non-essential items in-person right now, many people will be turning to online shopping this holiday season.
However, with increased online shopping comes the increased risk of fraud and identity theft.
Beatrice Dyce from the consumer protection branch of Manitoba Finance said with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holidays on the horizon, it is a good time for consumers to keep online safety at the forefront of their minds.
She recommends that shoppers use companies that are familiar to them.
“As we take steps to protect our friends and family and neighbours during the pandemic, online shopping closer to home is a great way to support your favourite Manitoba companies and also support your local economy,” she said, noting that online safety tips apply whether or not someone is shopping local.
HOW DO YOU KEEP YOUR INFO SAFE?
To keep personal and credit card information safe, Dyce recommends that people ensure they are using a secure website.
“Most businesses will tell you that if you look for the lock icon at the bottom of the computer screen, you can tell that whatever information you’re transmitting is secure,” she said.
Dyce said shoppers should check to make sure the website they are using is authentic and to be aware of the type of information the online retailer is asking for.
“There’s no reason that an online shop should need your social insurance number for you to buy bike parts,” she said, noting that if someone does get asked something that makes them uncomfortable, they should back out of the transaction and find another company.
WHAT TO DO IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG
Dyce said that if someone thinks their information has been stolen, they should call the online retailer to confirm what happened and then get in contact with the credit card company if there’s a problem.
“You do have protections when you use the internet,” she said.
“If you order a good or a service over the internet and the retailer fails to deliver that good or service to you, you do have the option of cancelling that transaction and asking for your money back.”
- With files from CTV’s Nicole Dube.