Shopping online is one of the most convenient ways to shop! It’s easy to find the best prices, you have more selection than you’ll ever know what to do with and it ships right to your door. Even returns and exchanges can be easy if you pay close attention to each retailer’s posted policies.
Even though shopping online is one of the greatest things to come out of the internet, it doesn’t come without its concerns and your internet provider is not responsible if you are hacked or scammed online. Cybercrime has been a major concern since the inception of online shopping, but as long as you shop wisely, you won’t be a cybercriminal’s next target. Here’s five ways to safe while shopping online.
- Shop From Websites You Know
If you’re new to online shopping, start with retailers you know and already trust. Visit their sites directly and make sure that you’re really on their site. Cybercriminals and scammers try to trick unsuspecting shoppers with different tactics like slightly misspelled website domains to capture your information.
When you’re ready to venture out to new retailers you’ve never shopped at before, make sure you do your due diligence to ensure that they’re a legit company first. Search for customer reviews, read their policies, and take caution with large purchases. If something seems too good to be true, like a deep discount or sale price, it probably is.
- Look For ‘Https’ & The Padlock
Before you start putting items into your online cart, check to see that the site you’re on is secured first. Look for ‘https’ or a padlock icon in the address bar. If the site you’re on has neither, do not buy anything from that site. If that site does have them, the site is secure and encrypts your sensitive information like payment information and passwords.
- Don’t Give More Information Than Needed
No matter which online retailer you’re shopping with, none of them need sensitive information like your social security number, birthday or first street you lived on to complete your transaction. If they ask you for your birthday it could be harmless, but something as serious as your social security number should not be provided unless you’re applying for a line of credit with them. Just remember to be cautious and give as little of your personal data as you can. While cybercriminals do like this sort of information, they aren’t lurking everywhere you go, but it’s not unheard of for major sites to experience security breaches.
- Use More Secure Payment Methods
While shopping online you may find something you like, pay with a credit card or PayPal instead of your debit card. Credit cards and PayPal have more security and buyer protection features when it comes to fraudulent charges. If the unthinkable happens and your debit card number gets stolen, the thief who has it can spend all the money in your account before you can report the fraudulent transaction to your bank. Once you make the report, you should be able to get some or all of your stolen money reimbursed. However, the entire process can take weeks and you don’t want to be stuck in a position where you have to argue with your bank to get your money back and not be able to pay your bills.
- Don’t Enter Payment Information On Public Wi-Fi
Free Wi-Fi networks or free public internet that is usually offered in business like restaurants, malls, café, etc. are okay to use as long as you’re being safe and remember that anyone can see what you’re up to while you’re connected. Avoid entering any personal information, passwords or financial information when you can. If you’re doing any online shopping, we recommend that you save your cart for when you get home and enter your payment information there as using the home internet is safer that using the public internet.