5 Tips for Staying Safe When Shopping Online
The way to shop now changes with the development of technology. And still it's like two sides of a coin, there are more benefits but also weaknesses. Shopping online is similar to diving in the ocean to find gems, pearls, and other items. When swimming in the ocean, you have to stay away from sharks, sea snakes, box jellyfish, and other deadly creatures of the sea. Similarly, when shopping online, you need to take precautions against online criminals such as hackers and other malicious coders who have nothing better to do than steal other peoples’ hard-earned money, and sometimes even their identities.
In order to protect yourself from online frauds and scams, and identity thefts, you need to take certain precautions and safety measures. The following are some tips that will help you remain safe and secure when buying goods and services online.
1. Never Buy from Unsecured Sites
You must make the purchase from a reliable and trusted site. Trusted
sites offer secure and encrypted payment platforms. Make sure to buy
from a site that uses SSL (secure socket layer) technology. SSL
technology ensures secure flow of information between the store’s server
and the computer.
How do you know that the site uses SSL technology? Simply look at a padlock icon on the status bar of the internet explorer. Also, website addresses that begins with “https:” instead of an “http:” use SSL technology.
2. Consider Installing an Antivirus and Anti-Malware Software
The importance of installing a solid antivirus and anti malware software cannot be emphasized enough. A number of people do not install such a program to protect from online threats and viruses. An antivirus program keeps a look out for harmful codes or malicious online activity that could harm your system or steal confidential information.
A robust antivirus software contains various features that will protect you from all kinds of digital threats including malware programs, phishing websites, hackers, and virus infected software. The antivirus software have advanced heuristic features that use behavioral analysis to detect unidentified threats.
3. Print Copy of Online Purchase Orders
You should make a habit of printing online purchase orders that are emailed by the retailers. The purchase order contains payment details. You should save this online purchase order until you receive the product at your doorstep.
4. Consider Using Credit Card Instead of a Debit Card
Using credit card is much safer as compared to a debit card when making online purchases. If someone steals your credit information, they can do less damage as compared to stealing information about debit card. Credit cards have spending limits while there is no such limit on debit cards. Moreover, you can easily dispute fraudulent transactions made from credit cards. This is not the case when the money is withdrawn directly from your bank account by a debit card.
5. Make Use of Strong Passwords
Finally, you should always use strong passwords for your online shopping accounts. The password should ideally be a combination of letters, numbers, and special character. The stronger the password, the more difficult it will be for the hackers to guess the passwords.
In the end, the online digital arena is filled with both good and bad guys. You can save yourself from online scams and frauds committed by the cyber criminals by following the tips and advice given above.