Online shopping is convenient and hassle-free. With just a few clicks, you can order an item and have it delivered right at your doorstep.
The eCommerce industry is growing quickly as more people become aware of these benefits. In fact, it’s expected that in 2021, the number of people buying goods and services online will grow to over 2.14 billion.
But, where there is money and people, the bad guys will be there too, trying to scam unsuspecting buyers and sellers and stealing their money and personal information. However, not to worry, as there are things you can do to protect yourself as you shop online.
Here are 5 Security Tips for Online Shoppers:
1. Be Wary Of Those Lucrative Deals Sent Via Email
Hackers send “phishing” emails that claim to offer lucrative deals, but in reality, they are meant to trick you into revealing your payment details, log-in credentials, and any other personal data that they can abuse further.
Always confirm the source of your emails and ensure they are coming from authentic sources. The telltale signs of fraud include errors in grammar and spelling and website addresses with minor variations that make them look like authentic brands, like “babby” instead of “baby” or similar discrepancies. When you are not sure, simply visit the merchant website to confirm the validity of such offers.
2. Buy From Secure Websites
Before you buy from a particular website, ensure it has SSL (secure sockets layer) certification installed.
To confirm this, check if the site’s URL starts with HTTPS: instead of HTTP: You should also note a padlock symbol in the address bar. To ensure you always use secure websites, use a website extension such as HTTPS Everywhere to encrypt your connections and increase your information security.
3. Use A Secured Internet Connection When Shopping
Free public Wi-Fi networks available at coffee shops, restaurants, and airports are unencrypted, and therefore unsecured. Hackers can easily poke their noses on your private information using various hacking tools. If you have to connect to these networks, do so using a VPN app. A VPN offers extra security by encrypting all the data that comes in and out of your devices.
4. Ensure You Are Buying From An Authentic Retailer
One trick that malicious hackers use to defraud you is by setting up fake shopping websites. These websites can infect you either immediately you arrive on them through drive-by-downloads or malicious links. The most dangerous part is during the checkout process, as you will have to enter your personal information, including credit card data, address, and name. This renders you vulnerable to credit card fraud, identity theft, or social engineering attacks.
5. Ensure Your Browser, Operating System, & Antivirus Are Up To Date
Outdated software is a constant cause of malware infections, and online shoppers are vulnerable to this due to the personal information they have to keep entering on different websites. Ensure your browser is up to date before you shop online. This will secure your cache and cookies and prevent data leakage.
Even as you enjoy the benefits that come with online shopping, it’s essential to do your due diligence and ensure you stay safe. Follow the tips above and enjoy a risk-free online shopping experience.