Like many busy professionals, you’re more reliant on online shopping than ever before. You buy groceries, clothes, and supplies on the Internet to keep up with your hectic schedule and stay safe. These tips below can help to keep you Safe When Online Shopping.
Although online shopping certainly helps you stay physically safe, it also leaves you more vulnerable to digital threats that can damage your computer, hijack your system, steal your identity, or worse.
These Tips Can Keep You Safe When Online Shopping
That’s why it’s essential to follow these online shopping safety tips:
1. Secure Your Computer
Secure your computer to make it less vulnerable to cybersecurity threats.
- Update Your Software: Update your operating system and all other essential programs to the latest version. The newest software is usually the most secure.
- Secure Your Network: Enable the firewall on your operating system and your router to protect your network from unwanted guests. Subscribe to a trusted Virtual Private Network (VPN) service to reinforce your network security and privacy. If you must use unsecured public WiFi to shop, use your VPN to encrypt the traffic.
- Check Your Computer: It’s essential to use the latest cybersecurity software to scan your computer for viruses and other malware threats such as ransomware, spyware, and adware. The best cybersecurity software should also offer real-time protection from malware threats to keep your online shopping safe.
2. Avoid Clicking Pop-up Ads
Remember the adage: “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.” Be wary of overly aggressive pop-ups, push notifications, and other promotions that scream for your attention but are disingenuous. They either ask for your sensitive data such as credit card information or infect your computer with malware. Rarely do pop-up ads offer any real benefits.
3. Protect Yourself from Identity Theft
Identity theft is your biggest concern while shopping online, especially during the holiday season. According to this data by credit reporting company Experian, 43% of consumers who had their identity stolen say it happened while shopping on the Internet during the holidays.
Usually, identity thieves rely on trickery. They create fake shopping websites that look legitimate and offer excellent deals to bait shoppers. Their goal is to take your personal information and credit card details from the fraudulent checkout page and steal your money. They may even offer fake financing options to get a hold of your social security number.
You can usually recognize a fraudulent website when you take a closer look. For example, a fake platform may have spelling mistakes, an unsightly UI, no SSL encryption, and a name that sounds authentic, but isn’t.
Another weapon in an identity thief’s arsenal is phishing, which is an attempt to steal your sensitive data through legitimate-looking emails and text messages. Educate yourself more on phishing scams to protect yourself.
Only shop at trusted websites to stay safe. Use strong passwords and avoid saving your username and password on any platform. However, even the most secure websites get breached. For extra safety, use credit cards instead of debit cards when shopping online, as they provide more security.
Monitor your financial activity every day and report any suspicious transactions immediately. With the right security measures, you can shop online securely and safely.