7 July 2022, Comments: Comments Off on Tips to Keep You Secure While Shopping Online

 July 2022         David Chu

Online shopping is the latest trend since the covid-19 pandemic. You search for what you want to buy, click on the ‘Buy Now’ button and get it delivered to your doorstep. Shop around different sites to get the best price without even leaving the comfort of your home.

However, the transactions are not always as smooth as it sounds. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, the FBI got an average of 1300 online identity theft complaints in a single day and a loss of $3.5 billion to businesses and individuals.

There have been complaints about many people falling for ‘deals’ advertised over the internet or social media pages only to receive some items that they couldn’t return.

But don’t worry, we are here to help you. There are ways to keep yourself safe while you shop online.

Shop at Only Reliable and Trusted Websites

When you are shopping online, make sure you are choosing a trusted site. Don’t always trust the search results, especially when you scroll through the first few pages of the search engine result pages. Choose a site that has a good reputation in the market like Amazon or Walmart. Beware of sites using similar names to reputed websites. It is one of the oldest tricks in the book. The sales of these websites might look attractive, but that’s how they make you give out your banking details.

Avoid Using the Debit Card

When you shop online, the best idea is to pay through credit cards or services, like PayPal or other e-wallets. Debit cards are linked to your bank account. If anything goes wrong, there is a higher risk of someone hacking into your account. Often credit cards offer less liability and more protection if someone hacks into them.

When you use credit cards, you can expect to get speedy refunds if something goes wrong. If a fraudulent transaction or site is found, credit card companies immediately reverse the charged money and launch an investigation. In case you use your debit card, and there is some issue, your bank might not give you the money back until they complete the investigation.

Look for the Green PadLock Symbol

Using a credit card might be better than using a debit card but avoid buying anything from a website that doesn’t have SSL encryption. Check the site’s URL, it should have HTTPS instead of just HTTP. You will also notice an icon of a green locked padlock in the URL of the address bar. HTTPS has become standard now and it is also used by many non-shopping sites. In fact, it has become so common that Google Chrome flags a page without the additional ‘S’, separating them as non-secure.

You should avoid HTTP sites at all costs.

Use a Separate Device for Shopping

Do you have more than one computer? Take advantage of it. Dedicate a different device for online shopping. If you avoid using your primary computer for other activities, such as internet browsing, checking emails, downloading, or social networking, you will have a clean computer, which is free of computer viruses or malware. For additional security of safe online shopping, use Google Chrome with HTTPS. It makes sure you have a safer online shopping experience.

Avoid Overshowing

Your online shopping e-tailer doesn’t have to know about your Social Security Number or other intricate details to do business. If hackers get access to your credit card number, they might do a lot more damage than you can imagine. The more fraudsters know about you, the easier it is for them to steal your identity. So, give up as little data about yourself when you shop online.

Use Strong Password

Do you change your passwords frequently? A PCMag survey shows that 11% of the people claim that they do it every day. But they might be paranoid people. Only 27% of the people change their password for protecting their privacy a few times a year, and 35% of the people never change their password.

In case you belong to a group that doesn’t change its password, you are only increasing the risk of identity theft. You need to make sure that you change your password every few months. When you are changing your passwords, make sure you use secure passwords. It is more important if you shop and bank online.

Check Your Bank Statements Regularly

Avoid waiting for your bill to come at the end of every month. You should go online to check your bank statements, regularly, particularly during the holiday season. Look for any scam charges. Remember, it can originate from sites, such as Venmo and PayPal.

Don’t use your debit cards, as it will give the scammers direct access to the bank funds. If some website is asking for a different kind of payment, such as wired money, take it as a red flag.

In case you find something wrong with the credit card or debit card statement, call up your bank to address the issue, immediately.

Use a VPN

In case you do a lot of online shopping, use a VPN like https://thefastvpn.com/. It will encrypt your data transfers and keep hackers from viewing any sensitive details.

If you shop online using public Wi-Fi, using a VPN will create an encrypted connection between you and the VPN server. Take it as a tunnel for internet traffic. Hackers won’t be able to intercept your details. With a VPN, you can keep your details safe while you are shopping online.

A wiped-out bank account or stolen identity isn’t the kind of surprise you would want as you shop online. So, use a VPN and avoid such surprises.

Don’t know which is the best VPN for you? Use TheFastVPN.com. By installing this on your device, you can browse online shopping sites safely and privately. No one will be able to see through your activities online. It has 1000 VPN servers in almost 50 countries. FastVPN offers top-notch speed, ensuring a faster browsing experience.

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