Online shopping has transformed the way customers buy goods as they enjoy immense flexibility in terms of delivery and payment. Apart from the wide range of products, online shopping gives you the option to compare prices and save money. It also lets you shop while you’re on the move. However, with the rising popularity of online shopping, the risks have been rising as well. Cybercriminals are looking to steal your card details, and you may also end up as a victim of fraud. We have some useful tips for your safety and security when you shop online.
Safety Tips for Online Shopping
Follow these handy tips for safe online shopping and paying experience.
- Be conscious of your rights and know how companies need to handle your data.
- Visit only secure websites (HTTPS over HTTP).
- Avoid deals that look too good to be true.
- Avoid shopping online while connected to public Wi-Fi.
- Keep your passwords strong and keep updating your software and anti-virus solution.
- Do some research on the retailers to ensure that they are legitimate
- Use a credit card to pay instead of debit cards.
Read on for further details as we delve deeper into safe online shopping and payments.
Perform Some Research on the Website and the Seller
There are a plethora of websites offering various products. While most of these websites and sellers are legitimate, you’ll have to do a bit of research to locate the suspicious ones. When you are about to use a website you haven’t visited before, check online to see if they have any negative feedback. Independent sellers on a website would have reviews. Check them as well. In 2018, Vox reported free trial scams that lure users in with free products only to charge them later. Thus, be wary of any ads you see, and click that “buy” button only when you are confident that you are not being scammed.
Identifying a Secure Website
There are specific details determining whether a website is safe to use. Enter your card details only into the websites with these signs. However, while these indicate that the site is secure, there’s no guarantee that the seller is safe as well.
- Green address bar. The address bar turns green on certain browsers.
- Padlock symbol. In the website address, you’ll find a padlock sign next to it.
- Valid certificate. Clicking on the padlock sign shows the site’s certification. It tells you who if the site is registered. Avoid a website if there’s any warning about a certificate.
- Website address. The address of the website should start with https://. The S in HTTPS tells you that the site is secure.
Keep Yourself Safe Online
There are various ways to keep yourself safe online. Keep updating your anti-virus protection and the software you use. The updates make changes to keep your devices protected from scammers and online criminals. Use upper and lower cases in your passwords and special characters along with numbers to keep them strong.
Sometimes, your password is not enough to stay safe. It might leak, or you might have chosen a weak one. That’s why many services have implemented two-factor authorization (2FA). It involves you passing through an extra level of security to prove your identity. If a website or service offers 2FA, always enable it.
Website Pharming Scams: What are they?
Fraudsters are creative, and a pharming attack can be relatively believable. It means that criminals have created a fake version of a legitimate website. For instance, criminals could copy or imitate reliable providers like Amazon. Thus, if you enter such a domain, you might let your guard down. However, everything that you submit to a fake website becomes compromised information.
Security of the Wi-Fi Connection
Use only secure internet connections. Avoid using public Wi-Fi at coffee shops or shopping centers. It is especially important that you avoid submitting personal information while connected to an unsecured network.
For enhanced security, you may use a Virtual Private Network. Such apps build secure tunnels and traverse all your data through them. Thus, no one can snoop on your communications. For instance, a PC VPN has additional features for blocking access to potentially dangerous websites. Hence, you might be able to avert some shady online stores.
Online shopping has turned into a way of life for everyone around the globe. However, it’s imperative to ensure complete data safety by securing your online identity and financial information. Visit only safe websites and find out as much information as available about the website and seller. Updating your software and anti-virus is crucial for ensuring data safety. Check the website address for anything fishy and protect yourself from website pharming. Avoid using public Wi-Fi and enhance your safety with a VPN. Follow our tips for a safe shopping and payment experience.