By Nicholas Pell for Your Security Resource
Holiday shopping is never a picnic. It gets a lot harder, though, when you’re shopping online and have to worry about identity theft or compromised security. Here are five shopping apps to use this holiday season to help you get your shopping done quickly, easily and securely.
The Christmas List
It all starts here: the list. But why do it the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper? The Christmas List, a cool iOS app, makes even a spreadsheet shopping list look medieval. The Christmas List lets you compile a master list, set a budget for each person and track the number of days remaining to complete your shopping. You can organize your list by person and by store for maximum shopping efficiency, and you can even track your progress in every part of the shopping process: purchasing, wrapping, shipping and receiving.
Popular discount shopping site BuyVia has mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. The site aggregates sales from multiple online stores, such as eBay, Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Staples and more. You can shop all of these deals directly from your device, and the checkout happens on the site of the selling store. So if you trust the end seller — Nike, for example — you can complete your transactions with confidence.
During the holiday shopping season, you probably receive a barrage of catalogs and circulars, both online and off. But how can you keep track of all that info? Take a photo of whatever you see, and Pounce will track it and find a way for you to buy it — securely, of course. The shopping app currently supports some of the biggest yuletide retailers, including Macy’s, Toys ‘R’ Us and Target. It’s currently available only for iOS.
Many advertisers include barcodes and QR codes on special offers, saving you the trouble of typing a website into your tiny mobile browser. Barcode scanning app RedLaser, available for both iOS and Android devices, lets you scan both barcodes and QR codes securely.
Maybe you know that you want to get your significant other a new coat. There’s just one problem: You don’t want to pick the wrong size or color. Jifiti lets you buy a gift while leaving those details up to your recipient, and the gift arrives right on their phone. It’s a bit of a glorified gift card, but for the person who is extremely picky about what they wear, it can help make shopping foolproof.
Holiday shopping is always a big project, but these mobile apps will integrate
with your mobile lifestyle. And hey — at this time of year, anything is better
than day trips to crowded, overwhelming malls.
is a freelance writer based in Hollywood, CA. He writes about music,
personal finance and technology for publications such as LA Weekly, Salon and Business
Insider. He’s been online since the days of Usenet groups and
bulletin board systems.