Shopping online is really convenient for most people as it allows them to save a lot of time and energy. Instead of traveling to the shopping mall and back, you can get anything you need in the comfort of your own home.
The era of online marketplaces has dramatically transformed the way we make purchases. Today, people have an opportunity to order things or services with just a few clicks. The shopping process has become almost instant. Even if you are facing some website speed issues, there are multiple simple solutions to increase upload speed and keep shopping online. However, digitalization has brought some risks too. Although you don’t have to worry about pickpockets in cyberspace, there are still plenty of dangers. Therefore, you should safeguard your personal and financial information. Consider 10 tips offered below to stay safe.
Choose reputable platforms
First of all, you should shop only with retailers that you trust. Create a list of shops you know well and add them to your browser bookmarks, so you can quickly access credible platforms. It may sound weird, but you should avoid typing the website name of your retailer into a browser bar. Why? Because even a single typo can land you on a fake site that looks exactly like the real one. So instead of using a legitimate site, you may provide scammers with your credit card number and other personal info.
Forget about your debit card
Finance experts say that it’s better to pay with credit rather than a debit card. As you know, debit cards are linked to your bank account, so a seller can hack it and get access to your money. A credit card offers better protection in case it gets stolen. If someone tries to make a purchase with it, your credit card company will check it for fraudulent activity.
Don’t open emails from unknown shops
Scammers often try to draw your attention by sending out special offers for shopping. But if you open their email, you may get a virus or malware on your computer. So never click on emails from shops that you haven’t visited. Get in touch only with credible brands.
Don’t click on suspicious links
When shopping online, you may come across links to deals that are too good to be true. If an ad with a clickable link looks suspicious, don’t even think to click on it. Instead of getting an unbelievable offer or a holiday gift, you may be directed to a website full of spam and potential dangers for your PC.
Use reliable passwords
When it comes to keeping your private information secure, unique passwords are your best gatekeepers. You shouldn’t use the same password for many different websites. Otherwise, all your accounts can be at risk. To protect them, generate password phrases with the help of a password manager and change them from time to time.
Use a VPN
So-called virtual private networks or VPNs put your internet connection into an invisible mode. By using a VPN, you can protect your transactions from hackers. This tool will prevent cybercriminals from stealing your identity or bank account data. Most VPNs are not only easy to use but also free to download.
Don’t provide too much information
Another important rule to follow is that you shouldn’t give more info than needed. If possible, skip optional fields when filling your order. Give sellers the information they require only. Remember that the more data you put out there, the more accessible you are to hackers.
Avoid public networks
It’s really hard to resist using free hotspots. But you should do it. IT experts say that public networks are not secured, so any information you enter on them can be used against you. Hence, never log into your banking account or a payment system like Paypal and Payoneer. Also, make sure that you log out of such websites before going public.
Get the latest software updates
Updating your software takes just a few minutes but it makes a dramatic difference for your security. Don’t put it off when you see an update notification, this step must be done on time. because it improves your security and fights new cyberattacks.
If you got scammed, you shouldn’t be silent about it. Report the scammers to prevent other cases of fraud. If you are from the United States, you can turn to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Every country has special state bodies responsible for cybercrime, so let them know what happened!
Unfortunately, online shopping may carry some risks for you. To avoid potential dangers, follow the recommendations given in this article and be careful. Hopefully, you will not get into trouble anymore!