5 Suggestions For A Safe Online Shopping Spree
With the development of technology throughout the years, people have relied on using all kinds of electronic devices for almost anything you could think of. These include anything from communicating with each other from different parts of the world to finding any information online to pretty much going on a shopping spree.
Shopping online is especially convenient in these trying times. You avoid the crowds and long queues in stores and supermarkets. There is no pressure from the shop assistants to get you to buy items you don’t need and the best part is that you are doing it all from home. However, there are things you need to be aware of when you are going on an online shopping spree. In order to make sure that your buying process is safe, take a look at these five suggestions to keep in mind when you are shopping online.
Safe Online Shopping Tips
1. Spend your money wisely on legitimate and safe shopping sites
2. Use a credit card for safe purchases
You should remember this: use a credit card instead of a debit card when you are shopping online. One of the benefits of using a credit card is that it provides more protection against fraud. And, when you pay with a credit card, you aren’t charged until the following month. Also, it makes it easier because after each purchase you receive a statement that includes all the details about that purchase. With it, you can double-check the items you bought, how much it all cost, including the price of the items, the shipment and the expected delivery dates and whether there are any unusual purchases. If you notice something that isn’t right, immediately contact the company. The sooner you do this, the faster the company is going to investigate and give you a refund. Lastly, using credit cards protects you from cyber-criminals trying to steal your personal information.
3. Set up strong passwords
When you shop online, you usually have to register on the website and create an account. When you do this you need to be careful with the password you enter. Using a simple password like your name and your age isn’t a good password. A strong one includes an uppercase and a lowercase letter, numbers, symbols or emoticons. You may think that no one would try to scam you online, but don’t underestimate the cyber-criminals. There is the risk of phishing, which occurs when the user, in this case, you, is directed to a fake website which matches the look of the legitimate site to enter your personal and credit card information. You can also go to security operations center to avoid cyber threats.
4. Avoid public Wi-Fi
Technology is so advanced nowadays that anything you enter or search for on the Internet can be hacked. Open hotspots are like heaven to hackers. So using public Wi-Fi may not be safe. Hackers can easily access your emails, credit card information and your phone numbers. The biggest threat is that it creates a perfect opportunity for the hacker to come in between you and the connection point. However, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you must connect to public Wi-Fi, then the safest way is to use VPN (Virtual Private Network). With VPN, the data is strongly encrypted and your IP address, location, search history and personal information are secured.
5. Don’t overshare your personal data
Oversharing your personal information is not advised. You are never sure where that information is going or how it is going to be used. For that reason, you need to be careful about what kind of information you are providing. When you create your account on a website, you usually give your name, address and email. However, keep in mind that sometimes websites may ask you to give information that in reality could be optional or something that is too sensitive. If it asks you to give your Social Security Number, then something isn’t right. In that case, you must report the website right away.
To summarize, online shopping has its advantages and disadvantages. You can shop online 24/7, without any salesperson pressure and sometimes for even lower prices. Always keep in mind that you may be the victim of a scam. Since online payments are not always secure, we as buyers must be very careful with providing our personal and credit card information.
The e-marketers and retailers must pay attention to the authenticity of their websites in order for e-commerce to grow. Since the number of cyber-crimes where users’ personal information has been stolen is increasing, we need to be very quick with reporting anything unusual. Following these few tips may help you be more aware of the red flags that may come your way when shopping online.
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