I am going to make you aware you with 10 safety tips for online shoppers. If you follow these tips then you will find online shopping more secure and pleasant.
Know Your Sellers
The first safety tip for online shoppers is to know your sellers. Always, ensure that you purchase from a reliable seller. Familiarize with the website address, layout, and logo. The online con copies popular sellers’ website design and steals user’s credit card details.
It has been seen in many online fraud cases that users get confused with the actual website. Before purchasing anything online double check the website address and ensure that it spelled correctly.
For example, we all know about amazon.com, the website address can be altered as amazon.net, amajon.com, amazun.com etc. This may seem a basic thing but people get trapped in this trick.
Ensure Secured Connection
A secured connection means, all the information being sent between you and the seller’s website is private. No one can see the information in the middle.
The question is how the hell you will know the connection is secured and no one is spying in middle?
To ensure a secured connection, check for green https:// in the beginning of the website URL, your browser also points a lock symbol besides it.
If you are seeing http:// or red https://, do not shop anything from that website. HTTPS is secured version of HTTP, a method to establish a connection and send data between the browser and website server.
Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi or Computer
According to AARP survey, 37% of people used Public WiFi for banking transaction. Public Wi-Fi and computers are vulnerable. They do not always follow proper security standards. Also, hackers preferably target such hotspots to steal the confidential information. Same goes with public computers, they may have spying software or malware you don’t know about.
So, to ensure the safety while purchasing online, use your own device. Disconnect the public Wi-Fi and use the mobile data if you are going to purchase something.
Use Credit Card over Debit Card
Another safety tip for online shoppers is to use a credit card instead of debit card. Credit cards come with extended fraud warranties. In the case of any fraud, your credit card company may reimburse you and mostly their customer support is also good in such cases.
The credit card has a credit limit. Losing your debit card details in online fraud will empty your bank account. Another good idea is to use online payment services like Paypal. They do not reveal your bank or credit card details to the sellers which make the shopping more secure.
There is a good article on LifeHacker about when should you use Debit or Credit Card which you should read.
Monitor Your Statement
Your bank statement tells the whole story. It is better to be aware of any fraud quickly to prevent more loss. Quicker you know about it quicker you can take action.
Credit card companies don’t take actions in fraud cases if you tell them late. So, regularly check the statement, don’t wait for the monthly statement to come.
Log in to the online account and match each transaction. If it is not possible to check daily then check it on weekly basis especially in holiday season.
Don’t Fall for Feeling Lucky Offers
Most online shoppers, who become the victim of fraud, fall for dodgy offers. The cyber criminals create bumper offers to attract people. Like iPhone in $1 for limited time type offers.
The reliable companies do not entertain such heavy discounts. You can see many such offers on social media and in your email. You need to be sure about its reliability.
Don’t click on the banner, go to the official seller page and check if there is any such offer. You can purchase directly from the seller’s website.
Keep Your Computer Clean
This is most important safety tips for online shoppers. Cyber criminals develop spyware, keylogger, and adware to infect user’s computer and track their activity silently. This malware can read your input through the keyboard, can track your browsing activity.
If there is any kind of such malware on your computer then any information you enter is not private. The best way to stay safe and clean from such malware is to use a good antimalware.
We suggest you install a proven antimalware like MalwareFox and scan your computer. Keep its real time protection enabled so that it can stop any malware attack before they can harm you in any manner.
Sensor Your Personal Information
There is no use of your personal information like your date of birth, social security number, and ID card number etc in purchasing something online. Such information linked with credit card number or bank account number can lead you to serious trouble like identity theft.
To avoid such unfortunate circumstances sensor these pieces of information. Shopping site may ask your date of birth but it only means to know your age. So, don’t provide exact date of birth and social security number if they ask. Wherever possible pass least information to shopping vendors.
Use Strong Passwords
Another good safety tips for online shoppers is to use a strong and different password for each shopping portals. A strong password is difficult to crack by brute force attack. Use long passwords 10-12 character or more. Mix it with lower and upper case letters, digits, and special characters.
Don’t use common words in your password. It is also important to use the different password for different shopping portals. In case one of your accounts is compromised you won’t lose all.
This can get overwhelming therefore I create a simple online password generator that can generate passwords using easy to remember user input with these security guidelines. The best part of this tools is the generated passwords are still memorable.
It is also recommended to use a password manager like Sticky Password which will not only generate strong passwords but also save them securely.
Don’t Shop clicking on Spam Email Banners
Most online fraud cases happen during the holiday season through spam emails. These emails are sent using the name of popular shopping portals. They contain huge discount offer. Users fall in this trap and click on their banner to quickly grab this deal.
The landing page looks similar as they copy everything. If you enter your card details here you will end up losing big money. If you get any such email then don’t click on the banner to purchase. Open the vendor portal by entering the web address and check there for such offer. Usually, legitimate offers by reputed sellers have a promotional code in their email. Use this code to avail the offer.
Practicing these 10 safety tips for online shopping will make it more peaceful and exciting. There are always extra things that you can do to prevent any kind of fraudulent. Purchase from reputed sellers and pay attention to everything on screen. If you see anything suspicious just don’t enter your credit card details until you are sure everything is good. Have a happy shopping.