Shopping Online? Stay Safe with These Tips!

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Shopping online has become a way of life for many of us, and it’s easy to understand why. Not only is it convenient, but it can also save you time and money. However, with the growth in the popularity of online shopping websites has come an increase in the activities of cybercriminals targeting unwary consumers. According to estimates, e-commerce losses to online payment fraud were estimated at 41 billion U.S. dollars globally in 2022 — and this figure is expected to grow even further by 2023. 

If you want to get the best out of your online shopping activities without falling prey to criminals or Internet scams, here are some useful tips from Privacy Talks to help you stay safe while enjoying the Internet with greater security. 

Tips — for secure online shopping

Here are some tips to help you enjoy the Internet in greater safety while shopping online:

  • Shop On Reputable Sites Only
    When shopping online, make sure you are only visiting reputable sites with good reviews from other customers who have already shopped there before—a quick Google search should turn up any possible complaints about a website’s products or services. Additionally, check for HTTPS encryption—this means that all communications between the browser and web server remain encrypted so that no one can intercept your personal information such as credit card details or login credentials when sending them over the internet. Also, look out for a padlock icon next to the site name, it means the site is secured with a digital certificate.
  • Secure Your Wi-Fi Connection
    Make sure you’re using a secure connection when shopping online, especially if you’re connecting over public Wi-Fi or a mobile network. Attackers can exploit insecure connections and steal personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other financial details. Also, make sure that any website where you’re entering personal data is using encryption technology such as SSL/TLS (HTTPS). This will help protect your data from interception by third parties. 
  • Pay Attention To URLs & Emails From Unknown Sources
    Before clicking on any links in emails or text messages, make sure the source is authentic — don’t click on links from unknown sources as they could be malicious phishing attempts aimed at stealing your personal information or downloading malicious software onto your device/network. Be wary of websites with long URL addresses; these could be signs of phishing sites set up by attackers with the intention of stealing data from unsuspecting users who visit them thinking they’re legitimate sites belonging to reputable companies/organizations.
  • Use Strong Passwords
    Create strong passwords for all your accounts and change them regularly — this will help keep cybercriminals out of your accounts and protect your personal information from being stolen or misused. Use a combination of upper-case letters, lower-case letters, symbols, and numbers in your passwords and avoid using dictionary words or common phrases as they’re easily guessed by hackers.
  • Update Software & Install Antivirus Software
    Make sure you keep your software and operating systems up-to-date with the latest security patches as this helps prevent attackers from exploiting any vulnerabilities that may exist in older software versions or operating systems. You should also consider installing antivirus software on all your devices before going online shopping — it helps detect malicious files before they can do any damage to your device or network.
  • Shop Smart
    Don’t be tempted by deals that seem too good to be true; they usually are! If something looks too good to be true it usually is so always do your research before committing to any purchase. Read product descriptions carefully, check return policies and read customer reviews before making your purchase decision.
  • Use A Credit Card Instead Of A Debit Card For Online Purchases
    Using your credit card instead of a debit card helps protect you against fraudulent purchases since most credit cards offer additional protection such as chargeback rights that allow customers to dispute charges if something goes wrong with their purchase or if they feel like they’ve been scammed. Additionally, most credit cards also offer zero liability policies which mean that customers won’t be liable for any unauthorized purchases made on their cards. So make sure you always use your credit card when making purchases online!
  • Keep track of your items
    Keep track of your online purchases to ensure they arrive at your door. If the merchant refuses to provide shipment information or answer your inquiries about the status of your order, contact your credit card company for assistance. They may remove the charge from your bill and investigate the situation.
  • Consider using your tablet
    If you have a Linux-based device, such as a Samsung tablet or similar device that runs the Linux operating system, using it for online purchases may be safer. Apple iPads may also be less likely to be exploited while shopping online if they have not been jailbroken. However, keep in mind that if you use a public Wi-Fi network, your passwords and other data may be stolen.
  • Never provide more information than necessary
    Most websites you visit or shop on will want information from you in order to complete your transaction or create a wish list. Only give them the information they require. If a complete address or phone number is not required, leave those fields blank. The more information you make public, the more vulnerable you are to a bad person. And, before submitting your information to a website, check its privacy policies to see where and how your information will be shared.

The internet can be a great place to shop – but it’s important to remember that there are risks involved too! By following these tips from Privacy Talks, you can ensure that you stay safe while enjoying all the benefits of online shopping without worrying about falling prey to cyber criminals or Internet scams.



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