Online shopping is like an Aladdin’s Lamp for shopaholics as it means countless bargains, offers, and rewards. Online sites have a selection so vast that you are spoilt for choice. Every brand has an e-tail boutique at a global level.
Online shopping is second nature to a majority of individuals. However, with convenience at your fingertips, comes the question of security.
Is online shopping safe? These sites are on advanced web platforms and implement highly integrated security measures. Still, no one can guarantee 100% security.
Here’s a list of tips that you must follow when on an online shopping spree and stay safe.
Avoid the storage trap
Most e-tail websites will prompt you to save your card details for ease of purpose. Refrain from doing that. Fill in your card details every time you carry out a transaction. Make sure your auto-fill option has been turned off. At times, storing information leads to potential threats as hackers get easy access to your data.
Stick to the known
Try to shop only on trusted sites. Your search results can mislead you to websites that offer ‘too good to be true’ deals and discounts. As soon as you add your details for a purchase, you succumb to their scam. It is advisable to use websites that are tried and tested. Always check the website URL for spelling mistakes and errors.
Look for the lock
Stay away from websites that don’t have the SLL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption installed. It is the lock icon in the address bar. When you are at a payment gateway, make sure that the URL has HTTPS instead of HTTP. The S stands for ‘secure’ webpages. It is the standard norm for every website. If a site does not have HTTPS or the lock icon, steer clear of it.
Vaccinate your computer
No, you don’t need to take your computer to a doctor, but it requires a booster shot too. Protect yourself from malware, viruses, and online thefts with an all-inclusive anti-virus software for your computer and browser. You should regularly update and maintain the software to keep pace with upcoming trends. These steps act as a shield against online scams.
Regular account statement checks
Carry out regular Credit or Debit Card account statement checks. Don’t wait until you receive your monthly bills. With the help of mobile banking apps or NetBanking, you can check your transactions in real time to monitor fraudulent activities. If you find fraudulent deductions on checking your account statements, raise a flag with your bank’s grievance cell immediately.
Tread with caution
While using public Wi-Fi networks, you must tread with caution. Avoid carrying out transactions through such shared networks, especially if you intend to make a Credit or Debit Card payment. With multiple users logged on to this network, you are unsure who is a hacker and how your information may be leaked, leading to online theft. Use this network sparingly to enjoy hassle-free online shopping.
For every Credit Card you possess, it is wise to have a strong password. Set up hard-to-decipher and alphanumeric password. It serves as the safest security step while shopping online. Change your password every three to four months for optimal safety.
Avoid using a Debit Card
A Debit Card is handy to use. However, since amounts are instantly debited from your account, they can be more vulnerable to misuse than Credit Cards. Identity theft is easier in the case of a Debit Card, making it easier for someone to misuse the card and drain the account.
Try virtual Credit Cards
Virtual Credit Cards are temporary and for single-use. Their credit limits are lower and they expire immediately after use. A retailer won’t have access to real Credit Card information, so you can do your shopping without any worries.
If you can’t access a Virtual Credit Card, it’s best to rely on a single Credit Card for online purchases, and keep constant tabs on your statement to track any fraudulent transactions.
Ensure that you use a secure network
Stick to your trusted network for shopping. See that you have the latest anti-virus protection and the browsers are updated to incorporate the latest security features.
These precautions can save you a whole lot of trouble and money. To know more, click here!