Consumers shattered the record for shopping on their smartphone on Black Friday, and the same is expected throughout the holidays. According to a survey from Adobe, $2.8 billion was exchanged on smartphones and it's expected the total for the 2019 holidays will be close to $10 billion.
Shopping on a smartphone is so easy and you can do it anywhere. This year consumers are expected to spend billions of dollars by tapping 'buy now' on their phones. And some will lose a lot of money by making simple mistakes.
Too many people shop on public WiFi, putting their credit card or bank information at risk of being stolen. It's safer shopping on your phone's network than public WiFi.
Disconnect from WiFi. It's unsecured, meaning there might be dozens of other people on it, and if one person knows what they're doing, they can access your phone.
Shopping anywhere, it's best to use a VPN or virtual private network, especially if you're using an Android device. They're more susceptible to being hacked than iOS devices.
Search the Google Play Store for VPNs. Read the reviews. Lookout and Nord VPN are two of the most respected. There is a monthly or annual subscription required.
If you insist on shopping on a public WiFi network, make sure it's the correct one. You'll probably see open networks with the name of a provider or something else. Don't connect to those.
If you're searching for free WiFi, check out Facebook's find WiFi feature in settings under the "more" tab. It'll show the name of the establishment's official network. Ask someone who works there for the password.
If you are shopping online, download the store's app. Its safer than a website, but make sure it's the official app, especially if you're on an Android device. Don't download an app from anywhere other than the Google Play or Apple app stores.
Don't click on a link in an email unless you're absolutely positive it's legitimate. And don't shop with your debit card information on your phone. Remove it if it's already entered. Use a credit card or Apple Pay instead.
And one more thing. If you're using the same password for Facebook, Amazon, your bank accounts and email. Remember if a bad guy steals one, he's got them all. Change them all to something unique for each one. If more people are shopping on their phones, you can bet the bad guys are working hard to new find ways to attack them.