Thanks for all of the great holiday shopping and shopping safety tips sent my way. Here is a one of the most MomTastic list of tips I’ve received:

Sortprice, a comparison search engine, sent their “10 Commandments for Holiday Shopping” (edited for The Lounge):

1. Update your home computer’s anti-virus software and security tools before you start shopping, and if using a wireless connection, make sure it’s encrypted with a password.

2. Research deals: compare prices and search for online-only bargains to guarantee that you’re saving money.

3. Order in advance to ensure you don’t get hurt by holiday shipping delays and check stock availability for a given product before you place an order.

4. Use credit cards instead of debit cards – you’ll be better protected from fraud and face less liability in the event of your card number being stolen

5. Carefully review online retailer’s terms and conditions as well as their return policies, as they vary.

6. Create or update new online passwords that are unique and difficult to steal.avoid pet names, birthdays, etc. and incorporate numbers and characters.

7. Shop only on certifiably secure websites: look for ‘https://’ URLs that indicate secure connections when placing orders and entering personal information.

8. Be diligent about where you disclose personal information including phone numbers, addresses and financial information.and avoid unverifiable entities.

9. Look for delivery guarantees from online retailers and always keep hard copies of email confirmations of orders and delivery status.

10. Beware of promotional emails requesting personal information or promising a special deal as they could be part of a ‘phishing’ scam.

Editor’s Note: Great tips, especially the “http” – hadn’t heard that one before. What tips do other parents have on the subject?

Also, thanks to Plastic Jungle, an online gift card exchange (didn’t know this existed, but cool idea!), for this amazing factoid: “The average American family has $300 in unredeemed gift cards lying around…in sock drawers, lost in a purse.” They shared this fun comic/infographic that illustrates the positive impact of “gift card repurposing” — very timely!

Happy holidays!