Shopping online can be irresistible, especially when you know it’s safe. If not every day, consumers deal with lower prices, promo sales, vouchers, home delivery. services, and a wide variety of stores to choose from. So who would never enjoy the ultimate perks and convenience of online shopping?
With that being said, the internet is truly taking the world by storm and it seems like nobody can stop it. However, behind the internet’s success are downsides too. While it makes our lives easier, the danger of crimes such as identity theft, credit card theft and fraud, password trafficking, and other related crimes can be done easily as well.
In 2017, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Centers have received almost 300, 000 online theft reports with a total of 1.4 billion dollars that were lost from the victims. This means that as you log in to your old or newly-created account (regardless of any online shop or social media platform), there is a chance that someone is gathering your personal or financial information. Thieves can access your data in many different ways so the more you’re aware of how they do it, the safer you’ll be. Follow these tips to protect yourself while shopping on the internet.
Do not consider unknown shops.
You can expect a wide variety of shops online. Every day you deal with several ads that pop up on your screen but before you click the iconic “Shop Now” button, try to practice your detective skills first. Do some research concerning the shop and product reviews and the website’s credibility.
You can easily verify whether the website is installed with privacy protection or not. If you see a small lock icon on the corner side of its URL bar, it means that the website is protected. Take note that the URL of secured websites generally starts with https. So if you see a URL that only starts with “http” (without “s”), the website is technically not secured. With privacy-protected websites, you can guarantee that all the information you give out is masked, especially if it’s a password or financial info. Bottom line is to shop only at websites you trust.
Beware of extremely low prices.
Bogus retailers are offering extremely low prices, especially on holidays and other important occasions. But the biggest promo sales are sometimes the trickiest things about online shopping. Some stores would give away products with much greater discounts. But regardless of how tempting the price is, they could be damaged items or maybe the store doesn’t have these items in stock. Sometimes, these stores would try to catch your attention only to get your personal info.
Avoid shopping with public wifi.
Everyone would always wish for public wifi whether in cafe’s, malls or even on the streets. Practically, it’s convenient and free of charge. But I’d rather suggest to never ever disclose any information when trying to connect with public wifi, especially when you’re trying to purchase online. Public wifis have very wide coverage and one of these people with a little tech know-how can intercept the data you give and receive while being connected with public wifi.
Always mind the details of your purchase.
Some people have a careless habit of placing bulk orders without taking the time to review their order lists. To play it safe, double check your orders especially your order forms. Make sure that the list contains only the products you’re familiar with. Thieves are good at placing orders under the identity of another person. So you’ll be paying for additional orders that you never made. A little organization skill will save you from this scenario. When you notice a fraudulent purchase under your account, report the store to resolve the problem immediately.
Do not give out too much information.
Most websites will only take your name, complete address, contact details, and credit card number for transaction purposes. No website will ask about your Social Security Number and other too personal information so never be fooled if you encounter something like this. Better to find websites that offer cash on delivery (COD) payment option so you won’t have to encode your credit card details.