Shopping online has become a part of every individual’s lives which is pretty much convenient and at the same time it is quite risky. One must be very cautious while shopping online as it might get you into trouble at the time of payment and some other security issues. There are bounteous reasons for many of us to shop online. We have many reasons to buy products online as there are bargains, mind-boggling selection, secure shopping, fast shipping and returns are pretty easy, with the right e-commerce tailers. But, online shopping is a blend of purchasing products with much ease in a more convenient way for consumers.
However, people yet fret that their personal credit card details will be given to the wrong person. Online shopping is absolutely here to stay and online security endures to advance. Keeping your computer and online transactions secure are the crucial elements to shopping securely online. There are some speculations that shopping online can be safer than shopping over the mobile phone or even in person as you never deliver your card details to some unknown person.
Secure practices, a strong awareness of online threats and ways to circumvent them will also help you stay safe while shopping online. You just need some basic sense and practical guidance before heading to shop online. Just remember to follow these basic guidelines and security tips to shop online with confidence in a safe and secure way. Here we have compiled a list of 10 security tips for staying safe while shopping online to keep your online transactions secure and you can commence checking off products on that weekend shopping list.
1. Use Familiar & Reputable Websites
Begin your shopping at a trusted and reputable site rather than shopping with a search engine. It is because the prominent and renowned websites have a reliability to maintain claims that they are carefully converged on security. Search results can be furnished to drive you wrong, particularly when you cruise prior the initial few pages of links. If you know any specific site, possibilities are it’s less apparent to be a swindle.
Just beware of misspellings or websites using a different top-level domain (For instance, .net instead of .com) are the great tweaks to shop online perfectly. A huge data rupture could not only obligate millions in revenue, it could cost millions more in corrective costs like credit monitoring and fraud protection for affected online customers. Small-scale online shops that don’t make use of third party payment processors like PayPal may or may not have the resources or domestic awareness to handle the evolving security threats.
2. Always Shop on SSL Protected Websites
Look for the lock! You should never ever purchase anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have a pre-installed SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption at the very least. You need to ensure whether a particular site has SSL or not. You’ll know if the site has SSL just by looking at the URL of the site that must start with HTTPS:// (instead of just HTTP://).
If a site has SSL then, there will be a green lock displayed to the left of the website address. If an icon of a locked padlock appears it indicates that the site doesn’t have an SSL. This will guarantee that your website traffic is encrypted and helps you to keep your payment information protected from malicious hackers. So, never, ever give anyone your credit card details via email.
3. Don’t Share All your Details
Never share your social security number or your birthday information to any of the online shopping portals. No online shopping store needs your birthday for selling its products and do business. However, if swindlers get them, conjoined with your credit card number for buying something, they can probably do much damage.
The more they know about you like your credit card information, the much easier it is to pilfer your identity. So, it is always advised to give as least information as possible in order to have a safe and secure shopping online.
4. Protect Your PC
Crooks don’t just remain around expecting you to give them your personal or confidential data and seldom they give you a little, something beyond to help things move further along. You must be pretty much conscious about that and you need to protect your device against malware with frequent updates to your anti-virus program.
For doing so, you must always run the best antivirus software on your PC or Laptop and try to scan your computer frequently. Every added measure you practice to secure your computer makes it that much less probable that your device will be hacked or infected by a harmful computer virus.
5. Use Strong & Secure Passwords
A weak password can be the vulnerable section in your stronghold of online security. If your password is very weak hackers could easily hack it and acquires a free reign over your account. It doesn’t matter if you have full-featured antivirus software running and whether you’re using secure online behaviors or you use every other potential security precaution it is all useless if your password is compromised.
Try to set uncrackable passwords so that the hackers would never be able to hack your account. Just follow some tips for creating a unique password before heading to shop online. So, always keep a strong and secure password which is alphanumeric including special symbols.
6. Think Mobile
Some of the people make use of their mobile devices to compare products on other E-commerce portals while shopping online before making a purchase. On the other hand, most of the people do product comparison while shopping with a computer. There’s no true need to be any more bothered about shopping on a mobile device than online.
Just make use of the simple trick in order to shop online in a safe and secure way. One must use apps that are provided right by the retailers, like Amazon, Target and much more. Use the available apps to decide what you want and then make the purchase directly, without explicitly visiting the online store or the website.
7. Avoid Public Terminals to Shop Online
Obviously, it is not a good idea to use a public computer or public terminals to make purchases online, but we still do so. If you just want to continue shopping at the public terminals, just make sure that you log out every time you use it, even if you were just checking email. Spyware, viruses or any number of security vulnerabilities could be hiding on that unknown computer.
Using a public terminal could also leave behind cached copies of your personal financial details and other confidential information. More importantly, you should never shop online using public Wi-Fi. This is because a hacker could easily prevent your payment details by snooping on the unencrypted connection in your local beverage store.
8. Privatize Your Wi-Fi
If you do think of taking your laptop to any nearby coffee shop, all that you need is a Wi-Fi connection. Make sure that you only use the wireless network if you access the Web over a virtual private network (VPN) connection.
However, currently, it is not a good time to try out a hotspot you’re unfamiliar with. Just adhere to known networks, even if they’re free, like those found at Starbucks that is powered by AT&T. You can even find free Wi-Fi at McDonalds, KFC, Panera Bread, and FedEx Office locations, needless to mention libraries and local cafes.
9. Use A Totally Different Web Browser For Shopping
Apart from a securing your computer by using the best Anti-virus, one must learn secure behaviors to stay protected while shopping online. One must always open and use a new, different browser for online transactions. It is much better to use an incognito window to make your payment or some other transactions online.
Never open or use other tabs in the same browser. Once you’re done with your shopping and payment, make sure that you clear all the cache and cookies of the “shopping browser”, and close it. This protected and secure behavior can hinder certain types of hacking exploits while you’re shopping online.
10. Be Cautious Of Email Offers
Phishing scams often disguise as bargains and sales. Just pay more focus on this topic and judge whether you’ve received a secure mail or some fake one and try to separate the good from the bad.
One essential point to remember is that if you haven’t signed up for a mailing list, overlooking offers from that list is a great security tip. For instance, if you have an Amazon account and receive an email offer from Amazon, you should still think twice before clicking the link instead don’t just sign up blindly. The email could be spoofed and upon clicking on that particular link, it could eventually land you on a malicious website or cause a virus download.
11. Consider Using PayPal
PayPal is one of the best online payment services that serves as a digital wallet which is used by millions of websites to process online transactions. When you use your PayPal account to shop online, the retailer never looks at any of your financial details.
Instead, the seller receives the payment directly from PayPal, once the payment is deducted from the account of your preference. Additionally, for high-level transaction security, PayPal offers an amazing offer called Purchase Protection. This involves fraud restriction and is basically a money back guarantee on purchases made through PayPal.
12. Avoid Package Theft
Just follow the above-mentioned security tips while shopping online that helps you stay safe and secured. You can even keep your online transactions secure by following these simple steps. You should also consider taking measures to ensure the secure delivery of your packages.
Dodge package theft by using package-holding services. Use FedEx to have your package held at the FedEx location nearest you. If you have an Amazon Locker near your location, you can get secure, same day delivery on many products offered on Amazon.com.
13. Secured couponing sites
There are sites like Maddycoupons, Vouchercloud, Offcoupon.in and many more which when you open would show you many irrelevant ads. You happen to click on something and you end up landing somewhere else. So beware of that. I would rather suggest you to go for the sites with the backbone of media houses. Those sites are considered as highly authoritative sites with no spam advertisements on their pages. For example media houses like Hindustan times, OneIndia has their couponing sites which are powered by Global couponing company CupoNation.
One day, I was looking for this book and was looking for coupons applicable on Amazon. I Ended up on Hindustantimes’s coupon site. Not only did I find a good coupon there, but also I was never spammed with any notifications or emails after that. That sort of thing makes you feel safer that your information is not being captured for any purposes.
These are the 13 secure tips that one must follow before heading to shop online. Hope this guide assists you in the best way to shop online without any issues in a safe a secure way. Have a safe and secure shopping!