Enjoy The Holidays One Click At A Time

Holiday shopping. Not too long ago, that phrase could send shivers down a person’s spine. The crowds, the traffic, the lines, lines, lines! Today, however, we can avoid all or most of those things that take the joy out of the holidays with online shopping. In fact, many of us are!

Holiday Shopping Online Is Here To Stay

According to Qubit, 82.5% of consumers plan on shopping online as much or more during the 2021 holiday season compared to last year. That’s a big jump, but it’s not a surprising jump. And, it could be a great thing, especially if it helps to reduce our holiday stress and enjoy the season a bit more.

People plan to spend more online this season as well! Online sales are expected to grow 11–15% this holiday season to reach up to $226 billion.

With online shopping on the rise, what else does that mean for the holidays?

Holiday Shopping Has Already Begun

Black Friday used to be the unofficial kick-off to holiday shopping. Not anymore! According to JungleScout, 55% of consumers began shopping for the holidays before Thanksgiving — a good portion (31%) kicked off the shopping season before the end of October! And, many retailers kicked off holiday sales in October as well. Not to worry though, most retailers plan to continue offering sales throughout the season.

Holiday Shopping Is Likely to Increase And Decrease

While online sales are expected to grow, only one in four consumers are planning to spend more on Christmas this year than in 2020 (ROIRevolution). Those that may have experienced a job loss or a pay cut may plan to spend less during holiday shopping. Others may spend a bit more this season because their situations have changed for the better or because they spent less last year. It’s a mixed bag. From a financial perspective, approach holiday shopping, in a way that works best for you and your family.

Shipping Could Be an Issue

This one is all over the news. Supply chain issues, delayed shipping, and of course product shortages. Plan for longer shipping timeframes. If possible, shop early, be patient and know that your package will arrive, eventually.

Holiday Shopping With Local Small Businesses

Shopping with local, small businesses will continue again this year. According to Think With Google, 60% of U.S. consumers who are planning to shop for the holidays say they will shop more at local small businesses. Many of us have realized the importance of supporting small businesses, as many have been hit hard over the past year. And, in some cases, shopping locally can help you circumvent the dreaded potential shipping issues.

Being Cybersafe While Holiday Shopping Online Is Key

Cybercriminals are opportunistic. They know the same stats that we know, which means they know people will be shopping online this holiday season. Staying vigilant and keeping cybersecurity in mind while shopping will go a long way towards keeping your holiday joy throughout the season. Keep these tips in mind while shopping for that perfect gift:

  • Shop with familiar, trusted stores.
  • If you do shop with a “new to you store” research them before buying. Read their online reviews, check to make sure that have contact information on their website, and read their return policy.
  • Be cautious of the deals that appear to be too good to pass up, especially if you saw them on social. Ads that appear on social can be tempting, but they can also be created by a cybercriminal hoping to lure you in. Instead of clicking on the ad, go direct to the store’s website.
  • Track your shipments. Know when they are scheduled to be sent, and when they are expected to arrive.
  • Make sure the website address indicates HTTPS or shows a lock next to it (on the left-hand side).
  • Provide the least amount of information to make a purchase (stores do not need your social security number or your birth date).
  • Use strong passwords, passphrases or a password manager.
  • You may want to update existing passwords or passphrases before you jump in to shopping.
  • Do not save your information with a store when shopping online.
  • Monitor your accounts — bank, credit card, PayPal, etc. Check them frequently to ensure the activity documented was done by you.
  • Update your anti-virus software before you begin your shopping (this is not the time to click the “update later” button).
  • Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi — hackers know how to hack into them.

Enjoy The Holiday Season

The holidays are not about the shopping and they are not about the gifts. But it is a component of the season that can cause unnecessary stress. If online shopping helps you enjoy the holidays that much more, then go for it! Just use caution, and heed the online shopping tips we covered above. Keeping cyber security top of mind while shopping this holiday season can help you glide your way into a happy new year as well!

Happy holidays, and happy (safe) shopping! Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more tips and tricks on how to keep your information secure. Contact us now at (628) 215–8120 or success@intivix.com. Intivix is your San Francisco-based expert cybersecurity team ready to get to work for you.

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