10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Safe Online Shopping
We all want a safe online shopping experience, but we often rely on the fact that nothing bad will happen to us, just because we buy a pair of snickers or a dress. But dangers are out there just waiting to happen. Unless you walk on the safe side.

Statistics show that billions of dollars are spent every month on online shopping. It’s a growing business all around the globe. Of course where there are lots of money there are also people who try to steal it. But, like in so many other cases, a well-informed customer is a happy and safe costumer. So take a look at our tips about how to shop ‘till you drop and, in the same time, keep your money safe from cyber-attacks.

Common threats to a safe online shopping

Identity Theft

One of the most used method of hacking online shopping activities is identity theft. All it takes is computer virus or Trojan that records your personal information that you use to shop. If your passwords or your credit card numbers are recorded, you are one step away of buying a lot of goodies that will eventually go to somebody else. On your expense, of course.

Phishing

Another way you can get tricked is by phishing attempts. A well written and convincing email, with offers to good to say no may misdirect you to a fake e-commerce site. And that is all it takes for your financial data to be recorded and later used by a hacker. But there are ways to make sure you shop safely online. All you have to do is to read further.

How to make sure you shop safely online?

Buy from websites you trust

It’s very important for your financial safety to do your online shopping from websites or brands you already know to be reliable. Either you already bought from them or they came on your shop list as a recommendation from somebody you know and trust, this is the way to be sure that you won’t get tricked and you secure online shopping moments.

Padlock symbol, https and URL- your shopping friends

Make sure that the site you intend to buy from has https in the address. If it doesn’t you should consider becoming suspicious about their online shopping security. We say that because https is a protocol that encrypts data so it would be safe from hacking maneuvers. Also check if the URL begins with the padlock symbol. It’s also a sign that indicates security protocols being present.

Free Wi-Fi may cost you

Although they are very easy to find and access free Wi-Fi networks are a very risky way to go online. Because of their open and unprotected nature, they are very good instrument for cyber-attacks. So, if you want to buy stuff online you’d better use you phone network or any other private and secure Internet source. We have a separate article about how to protect your privacy on public Wi-Fi networks.

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Keep your protective software updated

A good antivirus will protect you from viruses or spyware that try to steal your financial information, so make sure you keep yours permanently updated. It will not protect you from phishing scams but it’s a good line of defense to start with. So, if you want to shop securely online, you should consider quality and updated protective software.

Say no to offers you really want to say yes

Sure, social media and other online channels are loaded with advertising messages that tempt you with great offers coming from less known sites, but are you really willing to take a chance to get tricked just for a discount? There are a lot of traps out there in the land of deals too good to refuse. Start safe shopping online by saying no to really good random deals.

Use a credit card instead of a debit card

The financial consultants established that credit cards are safer to use when you shop online. They have spending limits, so no one can rob you blind. Also you have better chances to track the money stolen from you and get them back. On the other hand a debit card is directly linked to your bank account, so the possible damage is considerably larger.

Use strong passwords

A strong password for your online profiles is more important than you think. There are many hacking methods that could read your passwords in a matter of seconds or minutes. And when it comes to financial information you should take this threat very seriously. You can test your password here. If it takes more than 10 minutes to break it you should change it without any regrets. Try a more complex one like a mix of digits and letters and longer than 8 characters.

Use a VPN

A VPN service will encrypt all information that comes or goes from your device so nobody else but you can read it. So, if you look a safe data transfer VPN is the way to go. Even if you use a free Wi-Fi network you can protect private data from any snooping attempt so online shopping becomes a lot safer, considering that nobody can steal your financial details.

Stay close to your bank

In the unfortunate event that your money are indeed stolen, the surest way to find out about it is to check your numbers from your bank account. The faster you find out about the theft the more you can do something about it. Some say you should take a look at your bank account monthly just to stay in touch with your money. But we think you should do it every time you shop online and you suspect something might be wrong.

Less is more

More safely that is. The less personal information you give for creating your online accounts, the more you make sure you are paying safely online. From this perspective, start being suspicious if an online shopping site asks your social number security or your birthday date. They definitely don’t need it. But a hacker could certainly use this information so that, combined with your credit card number, he could steal your money.

Be alert not paranoid

In the end of our article we want to underline the idea that for a safe online shopping experience you to keep your eyes open before you do the same with your wallet. But that doesn’t mean that you should be over suspicious about this modern and comfortable method of getting stuff that you want and need. Just stay alert when it comes to suspect shopping events and appreciate this great and efficient method of buying products. So, shop online safely and enjoy it!

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