Buying online is more convenient, quick, and simple than shopping in person, and it is typically more cost effective. Of course, such ease comes at a cost, and in the case of the internet, the cost is privacy and data security. By purchasing a pair of shoes or a present online, you may be unwittingly allowing hackers or digital criminals to steal your credit card information or other personal information: this is why shopping safely online is essential.
Buying online is more convenient, quick, and simple than shopping in person, and it is typically more cost effective.
Sooner or later, you’ll be shopping online for anything and come upon a site that appears to be…off. If you’ve ever come across a website that makes you nervous, trust your instincts. Many websites have been developed with the sole purpose of defrauding online shoppers and taking advantage of our desire to save money.
When shopping online, it is important to take some precautions to ensure that your information stays safe. Here are some recommendations to assist you in making secure online purchases:
Use a secure connection: When you are entering your payment information, make sure that the website is using a secure connection. You can usually tell if a website is secure if the URL starts with https://.
Use a credit card: If possible, use a credit card instead of a debit card when shopping online. This way, if your information is compromised, you can dispute the charges with your credit card company.
Keep your antivirus software up-to-date: Be sure to have antivirus software installed on your computer.
Many of our favorite online shopping businesses, fortunately, offer applications that make the process of purchase easier and give additional perks to help buyers save money. Most applications also let you keep your credit card information so you don’t have to type it in every time you make a transaction. As easy as this is, there are a few words of caution to bear in mind if you purchase on apps frequently.
It’s critical, according to Fuller, to keep your apps up to date. If you don’t update your apps on a regular basis, scammers can take advantage of any defects or weaknesses in the program, she warns. Fortunately, the remedy is simple. Pay attention to any messages that ask you to update your applications, and keep a watch on apps that hold your personal data.
If you shop online while out and about, companies will use your connected device’s Bluetooth and also WIFI capabilities to track your purchase history. While this isn’t necessarily dangerous, it might be strange to get an advertisement for a pair of trainers only minutes after purchasing them online.
Bluetooth is linked to legitimate internet security problems, so if you don’t need it, turn it off. If you leave your Bluetooth on while out in public, hackers may simply see any networks you’ve linked to, construct a phony version, and fool your device into connecting to the hacker’s Bluetooth device. This allows a fraudster to acquire access to sensitive information such as passwords and credit card numbers.
Expect to submit a payment method, shipping address, phone number, and email address, but if the seller demands anything else, go away. Allowing them access to your bank account, social security number, or driver’s license information is never a good idea. Some firms will ask you questions about your hobbies and interests, but these should always be optional, and you should be wary about answering them.
Hackers have become more brazen and inventive than ever before in their attempts to steal personal information from you. Don’t fall prey to online shopping scams—read our top online shopping safety recommendations.