The Internet has done great things for humanity, among them providing the total convenience of online shopping. But like most things in this world, this convenience is accompanied by risks, and as a shopper, you have to protect yourself. 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 you’ll do better putting it on plastic.
2. Shop only from secure websites.
Before you type in your personal or financial information, see if the website is even legit and secure. The easiest way around this is to look for “https” on the left side of the site’s web address. The “s” indicates that your information will be traveling the web with encryption. If it’s just “http,” don’t risk it.
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. Because there are new security threats surfacing everyday, it’s important that your software is updated regularly so it remains effective for its purpose. You may find it too inconvenient having to wait for the update process to end, but this is nothing compared to benefits you will get.
4.Be extremely careful when clicking links.
Aside from sneaky email attacks, links to deals that seem insanely good must also be avoided at all times. If you’re really tempted to open one, at least do a bit of research.
5. Use more secure passwords.
There’s a reason you hear this advice ever so often: it’s absolutely important. When it comes to keeping your private information secure, unique passwords are your best bet. If you use a single password multiple sites, it’s time to change every one of them. You can use a password generator, which will help you come up with really long and complicated passwords that hackers will probably not bother to crack.
There is no doubt that online shopping is one of the most indispensable benefits reaped by this generation. But this is something we have to enjoy with a sense of responsibility for our own sake.