The Internet has done great things for humanity, among them providing the total convenience of online shopping. However, this convenience doesn’t come without a risk, and it is your job as a shopper to make sure you are safe. Not that you will find this will be difficult. Fact is, it’s insanely easy if you come to think of it.
Remember the following tips next time you shop online:
1. Use a payment service if available.
Credit and debit cards are great, but you will be generally safer with online payment services (e.g. Paypal, Payoneer, etc.). Note that these cards are connected to your bank account, so if they are exposed, so is that bank account. On the other hand, in the event that your credit card number is stolen, you will enjoy more protection and be less liable. This is one time plastics rule.
Choose secure sites.
Before you type in your personal or financial information, see if the website is even legit and secure. The easiest thing you can do is check if there’s an “https” before the e-store’s address on the address bar. The “s” shows that your information will be encrypted while going back and forth over the Internet. If you only see “http,” don’t gamble.
3. Let your software update.
One of the easiest ways to keep yourself safe when shopping online is to update your own software when it’s time. New security risks are created everyday, and updating your software ensures that it remains primed to work against those new threats. You may hate having to wait for that update process to finish, but the benefits will be worth that extra patience.
4. Avoid clicking links.
On top of those sneaky emails, links to offers that sound too good to be real should never be clicked. If something looks really tempting, at least do a bit of research first and see if anyone has actually benefited from that offer.
5.Use stronger passwords.
You’ve probably heard this advice over and over, but there’s a reason for that: it’s crucial. If you want to maintain privacy for your private information, unique passwords do the trick. If you use a single password multiple sites, it’s time to change every one of them. There are password generators that will make it easier for you to create complex and more effective passwords that hackers will likely shy away from.
There is no doubt that online shopping is one of the most indispensable benefits reaped by this generation. But this is something we can only truly enjoy with a healthy sense of responsibility for our own welfare.