The Internet has done great things for humanity, among them providing the total convenience of online shopping. However, this convenience doesn’t come without a risk, and it is your job as a shopper to make sure you are safe. Not that this is hard to do. Truth is, it’s easy as 123.
Below are five things to remember just before you click on Buy:
1. Use a payment service if available.
We love our credit and debit cards, but if you’re paying online, you’ll be safer with a payment service such as Google Pay, Paypal, and the like. Note that these cards are connected to your bank account, so if they are exposed, so is that bank account. On the other hand, your credit card number gets stolen, you will get more protection and less liability. This is one time plastics rule.
2. Shop only from secure websites.
Before keying in your personal or financial information, first make sure you’re using a legitimate and secure website. This is easy – just look for an “https” on the address bar. The “s” shows that your information will be encrypted while going back and forth over the Internet. If you only see “http,” don’t gamble.
3. Let your software update.
Among the easiest ways to stay safe while web shopping is to allow that software update when your vendor is prompting for one. New security risks are created everyday, and updating your software ensures that it remains primed to work against those new threats. You may hate having to wait for that update process to finish, but the benefits will be worth that extra patience.
4.Be extremely careful when clicking links.
Aside from sneaky email attacks, links to deals that seem insanely good must also be avoided at all times. If something looks really tempting, at least do a bit of research first and see if anyone has actually benefited from that offer.
Improve your passwords.
You’ve probably heard this advice over and over, but there’s a reason for that: it’s crucial. Unique are your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your private information. If you have always used the same password for different sites, spend a few minutes changing each one up. There are password generators that will make it easier for you to create complex and more effective passwords that hackers will likely shy away from.
Without a doubt, online shopping is one of the most important benefits that technology has ever given us. But this is something that we need to learn to enjoy with a sense of responsibility, if only for our protection.