Do you love online shopping?
Well, you are not alone. Inarguably, many people enjoy the convenience of online shopping. It’s easy to contrast prices between various retailers offering the same product by referencing a list sorted by rating, as well as read some customer and professional reviews before you can proceed with your purchase. More so, not only are online retail stores open 24/7, but shopping online will save you some time as you wouldn’t have to fight traffic to get to the mall.
However, online shopping has its own setbacks especially if you fail to protect your personal identity from malicious individuals. So, what can you do to ensure that your online shopping experience is safe and enjoyable? Below are some 5 essential tips that will help get you out of trouble.
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If you run any sort of an e-commerce or other website where you are taking in people’s information (emails, passwords, etc) you absolutely must have SSL encryption on your website. Google thinks it’s so important that recently they have started using SSL as a small ranking signal for all websites, regardless of whether they are collecting information or not. SSL typically runs about $99 per year for each domain you want to add it to, but there are discounts at http://e-festival.net that you should be able to apply to your purchase and save money. Not only does it add security, it will increase consumer confidence in your website when they see the ‘https’ in front of your domain name.
1. Shop on secure websites
Before making any purchase, ensure that you are using a secure internet connection. Since most reputable companies usually apply a Secure Socket Layer that encrypts it’s users data during transmission. Be sure to look out for the little padlock at the address bar on your browser or make sure that the websites URL begins with HTTPS rather than HTTP. The “s” means that the website is secure and it demonstrates that all communications between the website and your browser are highly encrypted. If a website isn’t HTTPS secure, refrain from providing your credit card information.
2. Use reputable third party payment processors
Do you wish to give cyber-criminals complete access to your bank account? Well, then go ahead, use your debit card! Otherwise, stay on the safe side by shopping using either your credit card or a PayPal account linked to a credit card. This is because unlike debit cards, using the other alternatives sees to it that in the event of an identity theft not only do they limit the amount of money available for spending but they also don’t link directly to your financial accounts. Furthermore, you will likely be subjected to buyer protection in case a dispute arises.
3. Change your login passwords regularly
I know how tormenting it can be to go through and change the passwords to your online accounts, leave alone the agony it’ll take to remember them all. But if you want to keep your bank account and personal information safe while shopping online, it’s vital to change your account passwords every two to five months. This helps to prevent any hacker who has initially managed to break into your account from committing more damage. You should also make sure to use different passwords across all your accounts since that ensures that not all your accounts are vulnerable should one be hacked. You can always use a Password manager that will generate and store random passwords for you, just make sure you don’t lose the password for that!
4. Always update your browser
For every new version of your web browser, especially if you are using one of the most popular ones, there is always a boost in it’s security features. Older browsers may fail to work well with some websites while some may contain some flaws in their security that some hackers have familiarized themselves with and can exploit. The same applies for your operating system and antivirus. Keeping up with system updates helps you to stay ahead of hackers and also protects your credit card.
5. Avoid using public WiFi for online shopping
Anytime you key in your personal information on a public WiFi, you are exposing yourself to identity theft. Most of the public WiFi networks aren’t protected therefore any experienced hacker around connected to the same network can just retrieve your identity with less hassle if they use the right software. Instead, always make sure you are connected to an encrypted network before you start shopping online.
From the convenience of making purchases right at your fingertips to getting endless deals, sure online shopping has just grown in popularity. While the same is agreeable, it has made it more lucrative for scammers to trick innocent buyers and stealing their hard earned money. Online shopping should be fun and enjoyable, and with the above tips you can stay safe as you shop online.