Online shopping has made shopping so effortless. All you need to do is select the product, make the payment, and receive your order at your doorstep. However, this simple-looking online shopping mechanism has a few loopholes, which can be a threat to your personal and financial security.
Cyber attackers are always on the lookout for online shoppers who overlook their security and share their private information easily.
Here are ten online shopping safety tips for a safe online shopping experience.
Don’t use debit cards
When you shop online, it’s best to ditch debit cards and stick to credit cards or e-wallets like PayPal. Debit cards are directly linked to your bank account, so you’re at a higher risk of disclosing sensitive information if someone hacks your information.
Credit cards are more secure and are less liability, even if someone gets access to the card details. Another one of online shopping tips is to use e-wallets. E-wallets are also not directly linked to your bank account, so the chances of you losing your bank information are bleak.
Shop secure sites only
Needless to say, make sure the site is safe, secure, and trusted before entering any sensitive personal or financial information. A quick way to determine if the site provides safe online shopping or not is to look for “https” at the beginning of the URL. If the URL has “http” and not “https,” then the site is not encrypted, and your data might not be secured. Secure sites also have a “lock” icon on the left of the URL.
Update your device
One of the most crucial online shopping tips is to make sure your software is up to date. Software updates are intended to improve the security of your device and protect it from any potential virus or malware attacks.
Some software updates might seem lengthy, time-consuming, and annoying, but waiting for them to complete is worth it, especially when your personal information is at stake.
Don’t fall victim to email scams
Phishing is one of the most popular hacking techniques among hackers. In phishing, a hacker sends you an email containing a malicious file or link. When you click the link, the hacker gets access to your system and all the information inside it.
So, one of the online shopping tips is to stay safe from phishing attacks. Don’t open emails from someone you don’t know or a site you haven’t visited. Most scammers will lure you into clicking a link by offering an irresistible offer.
Some attackers also make you click the link by saying there’s a problem with your bank account. One of the essential online shopping safety tips is to not engage with any such suspicious emails.
Don’t click links
Even the most trusted safe online shopping sites can have adware links. Clicking them can put your personal information on risk, or might lead to the installation of a hidden malicious software in your system.
One of the important online shopping tips is to not click on any links that seem too good to be true. If you are really tempted to click an offer, do some research on the internet first to find out if it is legit or not.
Complexify your passwords
It’s one of the most common tips for safer online shopping, but still, most people end up having a password that is nothing but their name and DOB. Hackers and scammers are really good at predicting your password. Setting strong, secure, and unique passwords can go a long way in protecting your private information.
There are 26 letters, nine numbers, and a lot of symbols to choose from. So, choosing a unique password isn’t as hard as most people think. And if you feel keeping track of complex passwords is an issue for you, one of online shopping safety tips is to use tools like LastPass.
See what info you’re giving
Most shopping sites need some of your personal information to complete a purchase. But if giving information like a phone number or complete address is optional, skip it. One of the essential tips for online shopping is to remember that the more information you provide, the more at-risk you are if a scammer gets access to it.
Don’t use public networks when shopping
Free hotspots are great; everyone loves free internet, including hackers. Public networks are not secured, so any details you enter or any transaction you do is available for the hackers to pick up.
Even if you’re just browsing, use a VPN connection and good antivirus software. Don’t use any baking or payment sites like PayPal on a public network, no matter how great your VPN or antivirus is. If you’re already logged into such sites, log out from them before connecting to a public network.
Shop only from trusted shopping apps
Sites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay all have mobile apps, and it’s absolutely fine to use them. Mobile apps make things more convenient, not only for you but for hackers as well. One of the vital tips for safer online shopping is to download apps only from the Play Store or Apple Store. Don’t download any apps from random sites.
Even if you try a new app, be watchful of any permission requirements that don’t make sense, like access to contacts. Don’t allow the app access to any such information.
Stick to reputed sites
Shopping online grants you access to various perks. You can shop from anywhere and choose from hundreds of thousands of products. But it comes with a few security concerns as well.
The internet has never been a safe place, but now, it’s riskier than ever. So, make sure to follow the online shopping safety tips discussed above to have a safe online shopping experience.