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 this is hard to do. Fact is, it’s insanely easy if you come to think of it.
Remember the following tips next time you shop online:
1.Pay through a payment service if possible.
Credit and debit cards are very handy, but you’ll probably be safer using a payment service such as Paypal, Google Pay, Stripe, 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, your credit card number gets stolen, you will get more protection and less liability. This is one time you’ll do better putting it on plastic.
Choose secure sites.
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” tells you that all information you provide as part of the purchase process will be encrypted before it travels the Internet. It all you see is “http,” back off.
3. Update your software.
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 hate having to wait for that update process to finish, but the benefits will be worth that extra patience.
4.Be extremely careful when clicking links.
On top of those sneaky emails, links to offers that sound too good to be real should never be clicked. If something has really piqued your interest, research about it first before deciding whether to actually click the link or not.
Improve your passwords.
There’s a reason you hear this advice ever so often: it’s absolutely important. 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 you can use to come up with long alphanumeric passwords that will be too much for hackers to crack.
There is no doubt that online shopping is one of the most indispensable benefits reaped by this generation. But this is something that we need to learn to enjoy with a sense of responsibility, if only for our protection.