online has become almost second nature to many of us now and it is very hard
to imagine a time when we couldn’t snap up anything from a widescreen TV to a
pair of shoes with just a few clicks.
However, with such unprecedented convenience comes dangers. We may not even give it a second thought, but every time we buy something, we are keying sensitive information about our bank details.
Even though there have been rapid advances in online security, it remains essential that we are vigilant to the dangers which online shopping can pose. Here are 8 ways you can stay safe while shopping online.
Change Your Password Regularly
Many of us may find it difficult to remember our existing passwords, but by regularly changing your login details can prevent third parties from accessing your various accounts. You should also make sure to log out at the end of every online shopping session.
Don’t Shop Using Public Wifi
If you are thinking about whiling away the hours in your local coffee shop, mall or shopping centre by doing a bit of online shopping, you should think twice. Public wifi doesn’t encrypt data so you are leaving yourself open to hackers.
Don’t Click on Unsolicited Emails from Stores
Once you start shopping online and giving out your email details, you’ll find yourself inundated with all manner of emails offering unbelievable offers. However, once you click on such emails, you could be opening yourself up to all sorts of scams. Even if you feel it is from a store you can trust, don’t click on direct links in the emails, instead, go to the company’s main site.
Be Careful When Using Your Mobile Phone to Shop
Home computers are often equipped with anti-virus software, however, despite the fact that our phones often act as mini computers these days, they don’t have the same protections. Therefore, if you are shopping with your phone, make sure to take extra care.
Check Your Bank Card / Debit Card and Credit Card Statements Regularly
Very often, you won’t be aware that you have been defrauded until you look at your bank card / debit card or credit card statements. Depending on your bank, it may be very difficult to recover lost funds so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your financial activity.
Make Sure Your Software is Up to Date
If you are operating on an old browser, you prove to be easy prey for hackers. While security software may be coming more advanced, you need to make sure your browser is running the up-to-date version to avail of the best anti-virus technology.
Look for Company Reviews
Most reputable companies will have a review system in place. Whether that is using Google Reviews, Facebook Reviews or TrustPilot Reviews, amongst other well-known review platforms.
If it’s Too Good to be True, it Probably is
It can be easy to get carried away with great online offers, but if you feel that one is just too good to be true, then trust your instinct and avoid it. For a start, you should avoid websites you are unfamiliar with. If you struggle to find a product in most of the main stores’ websites, it is unlikely that you will stumble across it in some obscure website based in a small remote location. Likewise, when using marketplace sites, check the authenticity of the person or store you are buying from before committing to any purchase.