There’s every reason in the world to opt for online shopping as all the best bargains can be found on the internet, it is way more convenient as you sit back at home and browse everything you need, there’s a wider range of products to pick from than in physical stores, and the perks just keep on flowing. It is indeed the golden age for internet shopping, stores falling from grace as they don’t provide nearly as many benefits as the online environment does.
Alas, the number of phishing scam sites and hackers that directly target online shoppers has exponentially grown with the uprising of shopping online, which has led many to conclude that it isn’t a safe method to purchase what they need. Instead of giving up on this most convenient form of acquiring what you need, it’s better to inform yourself on what needs to be done to proceed with caution and not expose yourself to any of the aforementioned risks.
1. Put your trust in the lock
Shop using your card only from sites that have an SSL or secure sockets layer encryption
Sites that do have this safety feature implemented starts with HTTPS:// instead of the simple HTTP:// that you encounter most often when browsing online.
Another way to recognize whether or not the site is secured is to check for the golden locked padlock that appears in the status bar of the web browser.
2. Limit the data you share
Internet shopping might require you to give off certain information, but you need to know what the point where you start oversharing is.
The two data you should never share are your birthday and your social security number as, combined with your credit card number, can give wrongdoers the possibility to do massive damage.
When it is possible, we recommend that you default and give the least amount of information possible.
Avoid buying from websites that appear as search results and that you are not familiar with as this is an easy method to stray from safety, especially if you go on further on the pages of the search engine.
Beware of the oldest trick in the book, which is misspelling and the use of a different top-level domain as you won’t actually end up buying from the site you intend to but rather from an unsecure copy where your data is most likely to get stolen.
4. Put an accent on uniqueness
One of your best methods to stay safe is to use a strong password, even if this implies that you have to keep it noted in one of your notebooks at home as you are likely to forget it.
You should also create a unique password for each site you use as, this way, in case one of your passwords gets cracked, the hacker won’t have instant access to all of your accounts.
5. Avoid public connections
First off, you must always remember to avoid using public computers for your purchases as you directly expose yourself to hacking. Avoid even checking your email on them as there is precious info that can get stolen easily.
Another thing to avoid is to connect to public Wi-Fi networks when you shop as you don’t know how secure the connection is and who can gain control to it, exposing you to data theft.
What we recommend if you are in urgent need to do some shopping when you are in a public place is to create your own hotspot from your phone and use the internet provided by it to browse on your laptop, or directly make purchases off the phone using the internet you have available.
Reading the policy gives you a better idea on whether the side it encrypted and secure or not.
7. Keep your device safe
Always keep your browser updated as new packages come with security boosts that tend to tackle the latest issues and viruses.
Install a security software that will help survey your activity and warn you when you are about to make a purchase off an insecure site or even prevent you from using it altogether by blocking access to it.
8. If it’s too good to be true, it most likely isn’t
It’s smart to be suspicious when deals seem too good to be true as ridiculously low prices could indicate an illegal acquiring of the items you are interested in by the merchant selling them.
You could even be exposed to sending out money for products that you will never actually receive as they don’t exist.
Basically, if that surreal offer isn’t given out by a trustworthy site but rather a no-name website you accidentally found on the 7th page of Google while searching, you should not take it.
Is online shopping a viable solution?
With all the dangers that come with this convenient form of shopping, you inevitably ask yourself if it is worth taking up or not. As you have learned from us, there are plenty of ways to avoid the potential dangers that accompany it, this method of purchase becoming 100% risk-free if you apply them all.
From our perspective, it would be a shame to give up on this most modern method to shop just because others before you weren’t paying attention or were misinformed regarding safety parameters to follow. We recommend that you continue to buy your food, clothes, furniture, and everything else you can and want from the online environment as it spares you a lot of hassle and saves a lot of time.
As it is the golden age of online shopping, the time has come for you to get informed on what must be done to be safe when you acquire what you need off this rather new and complicated environment where your private data is exposed if you don’t take the right cautionary measures. Learn everything you need to know from us, and you are sure to enjoy the experience without any issues arising.