Online shopping is a great way to compare prices, find bargains, and save money with an internet or mobile data connection from anywhere. From home, you can search for items from multiple vendors, compare prices with just a few mouse clicks, and make purchases without being in the queue. However, the Internet is also useful to attackers, offering them multiple ways to access the personal and financial information of unsuspecting buyers. Attackers who can receive this information can use it for their own financial gain by either making their own purchases or selling the information to another person.
Luckily, if you follow a few simple rules, you can safely shop online.
- Shop online with trusted online retailers. Reputable online retailers should make it easy for you to find information about their return policy. The company should also clearly state shipping costs and other additional fees (such as taxes, service charges, etc.) before the purchase is completed.
- Use a strong password for each online shopping account. This will reduce the risk of being a victim of cyber attacks.
- Avoid shopping on any public networks. Public WiFi is completely unsecured.
- Never send emails that contain personal information such as your card number and expiration date or provide these details by phone.
- Pay with a credit card online because many credit cards offer fraud protection.
- Always log out. The inconvenience of having to enter your credit card data every time makes you safer, as a data breach at a retailer will not reveal your financial information.
- When you make a payment, make sure that the page is secure before specifying card details. If it is a secure page, a padlock will be displayed in the address bar at the top of the screen.
- The ultimate guard to your online shopping is using a VPN.
Follow these online safety tips to shop safely online and protect your identity from malicious attacks.