Online shopping is comfortable; it saves time and is super easy. But before you begin adding items to your shopping cart, ensure you have advanced security software, internet browsers and operating systems. Maintaining an updated system is a great way to safeguard against malware, virus or any other internet threats.
Take a look at some of the important tips that help you stay safe while shopping online:
Research about Retailers
Perform a thorough research before you purchase from a retailer, you have never done business with. Certain spammers try to trick you by developing malicious websites that seem authentic, so you should verify the website before providing any information. Identify and note phone numbers and physical addresses of vendors in case there is an issue with your transaction or your bill. Also go through merchant reviews before making a purchase.
Look for a Secured HTTPS Lock in the URL
The additional ‘S’ in the URL means that the way your information is being transferred is protected. HTTPS sites use Secure Sockets Layer, that encrypts the information carried through the wires and ensure only the destined recipient can view it. When you are considering purchasing from a HTTP website, be careful with the data you share.
Use Secure Payment Options
Credit cards are usually the safest choice as they have a limit on the monetary amount you will be responsible for paying if your data is stolen and used by someone else. Never send details through the mail or use a money-wiring service as you will have no alternative if something goes wrong. Always remember to review return policies to avoid hassle while returning items.
Use a Virtual Credit Card Number
A virtual credit card number lets you shop online without revealing your actual account number. Many banks offer this type of temporary credit card number that enables you to set the amount and time frame for a purchase. Damage can be minimized as the number will expire rather quickly and has a lower maximum spending amount. Moreover, your genuine credit card number is still kept secret.
Save Your Transactions
Print and save your online transactions such as product description, price, order summary, terms of sale, and copies of any email exchange with the retailer. Go through your credit card statements as soon as you receive them to ensure that there are no unauthorized transactions. In case you find a miscalculation, call your bank and report it immediately.
Shut Down your Computer when you are done with Shopping
Many people leave their computers turned on and connected to the internet throughout the day and night. This enables fraudsters to have complete access to your computer to install malware and carry out cyber crimes. To be secure, turn off your computer when it is not in use.
Never Click on Links in Emails
Many phishing scams comprise of emails that appear like genuine sites, including banks or online stores that send you to a false site where they can collect your information to extract your identity. When you get an email from a store where you have purchased before, ensure not to follow the links and don’t provide any financial or personal data requested in the email. Genuine sites never ask for confidential information over email. If you suspect the email’s authenticity, visit the company website and get in touch with the support team.
Be Attentive if you are using a Mobile Device
Nowadays, smart phones can perform everything that a computer can do, but that doesn’t mean they are as secured against hazards as your desktop. Most mobile devices are not equipped with the anti-virus software that you have on your computer, so it’s simple for hackers to steal information you enter. The short mobile friendly URLs that are usually used can also confuse you into visiting an unsafe site as it’s tough to identify if the site is trusted or not. There is also a chance of your phone being stolen, so ensure it is password protected to prevent easy access of any important information saved.
Avoid Shopping using Public Wi-Fi
Most public Wi-Fi spots don’t encrypt your data, so it is easy for any hacker in your neighborhood to steal your identity with the right software. Be aware when you are using a hotspot as any information you send through the internet could be collected by strangers. For important transactions, wait until you get home to your protected network as it is much safer.
Change your Passwords Often
It’s a bit difficult to change the passwords on all your online accounts, not to mention the hassle it takes to remember them all. However to ensure your information is safe when you are shopping through the internet, it is quite necessary to change your account passwords every three to six months. This keeps the halt on any hacker who manages to interrupt with your account. You must also ensure not to have the same password across all your accounts, as that makes easily vulnerable if one is hacked.
There is every reason in the world to purchase online. There are discounts, mind blowing collections and purchasing is simple & convenient. Even returns are quite easy, with the right retailers. It’s a golden age for shoppers to buy more than ever without visiting the store.
However, there are chances you could accidentally hand over data to the wrong people that would result in stealing your money and your identity. So it’s important to take safety steps to protect yourself when shopping online.
With some common sense and these basic guidelines in place you can shop online with confidence while saving money!