E-commerce boom has resulted in the rise of numerous online shopping sites. Today click of a button is all it takes to buy anything from paper pins to earthmovers. Online shopping is convenient and less time-consuming, which is why shoppers today prefer logging into their favorite online shopping site instead of visiting brick and mortar stores. That said, with opportunities comes challenges. Cases of fake online shopping sites duping people of their hard earned money and online frauds involving identity theft have surfaced over the years, giving rise to genuine safety concerns when shopping online. To help avoid identity theft and other safety issues, the post lists some safe online shopping tips. Take a look.
1. Shop From a Real Online Address
To gather useful consumer data, hackers often set-up fake online shopping sites that infect the shopper’s system by passing-on malicious links. Worse, the unsuspecting shopper unknowingly hands over a gold mine of data to the hacker by sharing personal info such as their credit card number, name and address at the time of logout. Be wary of strange URLs that sell products at ridiculously low prices. Stay away from sites that do not have good product descriptions written in crisp, unambiguous language.
2. Use Secure Connections
When it comes to securing personal data while shopping online, unsecure connections are a total give away. Even an intermediate level hacker can hack into unsecure connections and steal important consumer data. To avoid privacy issues, stay away from open connections that do not use passwords. Avoid connections that use WEP/WPA encryption (a very basic encryption language) and prefer ones that use WPA2 AES encryption. Do not use a Wifi hotspot with many devices connected to it.
3. Enhance Your Computer’s Security
According to a study, 99 percent of computers are susceptible to one or the other form of malware attacks. To avoid security issues, update your computer’s virus and malware signatures at regular intervals. Use a tool designed to block threats before they reach your system. Update your browser regularly as it will help secure your cookies and cache, while reducing the system’s vulnerability to cyber attacks.
4. Do not Provide More Information Than Required
When shopping online, the retailer will want you to share two types of information: payment info such as your card number and shipping location. Be wary of sites that ask for irrelevant info such as your date of birth or passwords. Avoid mailing any financial info. Stick to sites that have third-party processors such as Paypal.
To avoid frauds and data theft issues, follow these tips when shopping online. Keep a record of communication with the online shopping site including the emails sent by them and the bill generated. Shop with sites that use secure socket layers to encrypt the data flowing between your computer and the server. Avoid clicking on mails from unidentified sources. Prefer using shopping apps over online sites.