How to Shop Online Safely
Online shopping stores have cast aside the geographical boundaries that were holding back their global reach. With online stores booming, one can find everything on the internet. Shopping for anything has been made possible by big stores like Amazon, which provide customers a wide range of products from the top brands in the world.
However, the facility and ease of online shopping comes with a warning to all. Online stores are huge sites of targeted attacks by hackers who try to steal user’s financial details and then use it for money laundering and/or other schemes. There have been too many cases where an innocent user was tricked into believing that he/she were entering the credit card details on a secure online store while in reality the user was providing his or her details to a hacker who can then use it to empty their entire life savings.
Threats in Online Shopping
There are many ways online shopping can become hazardous for you.
- The website you use may be a fraudulent website set up by hackers to steal your data
- The online store you use may not be using a secure encryption protocol to ensure that your details are properly encrypted during the payment process
- Your account on the shopping store may get compromised, giving the hacker access to your account to make any purchase he or she wants.
How to Shop Securely
Below are some methods you can use to ensure that you shop online safely:
The first thing you should always see while making an online payment is whether the payment gateway has an https URL. The ‘s’ in the URL means that it is a secure protocol and your data is encrypted properly.
2. Stay away from public terminals
One cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to share your personal or financial information with any website or any person over the internet while using a public internet connection. Public wifi networks are common hunting grounds for attackers and data snoopers who try to access your personal information and use it for their benefit on your expense. Since public networks have negligible security, you should try and avoid using them while making online payments.
3. Be wary
Being vigilant can help you a lot in the task of shopping online securely. Whenever a website requests for more information than is usually required, like your Social Service number or any other kind of personal information, it usually spells fraud. You should always be cautious before giving your personal or financial details anywhere on the internet.
4. Use a VPN
VPNs encrypt all the data you share across the internet on any website. They are the best security mechanism you can employ to make sure the data you share over the internet is safe from prying eyes and remains confidential. You can choose good VPNs like NordVPN which offers great connection speeds, uses good encryption protocols, has good global coverage and is quite reasonably priced.
5. Stronger Passwords
Perhaps the most basic requirement for any online account set up is using strong passwords. Weak passwords make it simple for hackers to break into your account and cause severe damage to you.
The novelty of online shopping freedom should not make us less cautious. Quite the contrary, online shopping can be dangerous if you do not follow the right precautions. The methods listed above can help you shop online securely.If something looks out of the ordinary and the deal looks too good to be true, be very careful before clicking on suggested links – check for all the warning signs we covered. Every year, shopping events like make online fraudsters more innovative, but education about fraud prevention and simple precaution can keep you safe.
So exercise caution and enjoy the upcoming Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales!