Buying products online is convenient, easy, and sometimes cheaper than shopping in stores, but there are things you need to watch out for.
About three-quarters of all adults in the United States have made purchases online at least once. More than half of all consumers say they would rather shop in a store than online. Online purchases made on mobile devices are quickly rising in popularity. These are current online shopping statistics.
One thing you need to be aware of is personal information. Most companies offer secure transactions via HTTPS protocol, but there are still risks involved.
In fact, a recent study revealed that almost half of all online shoppers were victims of identity theft due to poor security measures. To avoid becoming another statistic,
Here are a few online shopping safety tips to save from strangers while shopping online:
1. Avoid Using Your Credit Card Information
Worldwide shipping stores frequently accept credit cards as a form of payment. Credit cards are the safest option to pay for purchases online because they require little information to complete a transaction. However, if someone were to see your credit card number, they would be able to order whatever they wanted from your account. In fact, some websites even allow customers to search for your credit card number on Google.
To prevent this from happening, ensure you never include your credit card number anywhere online or in print. Instead, try using another method of payment, such as PayPal or a debit/credit card. Even though it takes longer to process payments online, it is safer.
Plus, it doesn’t cost you anything extra. Another thing you can do is check your browser history to delete any suspicious activity. Lastly, you should always enter your billing address and security code when signing into your account. This prevents anyone else from accessing your personal information.
2. Limit What You Share With Other People
When online products shopping, it is easy to share what you are searching for with friends or acquaintances via social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. However, sharing private information with strangers is risky, even if everything seems fine between you.
Sharing personal details is not allowed on some websites, but it is vital that you read the terms and conditions carefully to ensure that you are doing nothing illegal. Once you sign up for an account, you should select privacy settings that enable you to control how your information is shared. You should also set up parental controls to monitor your child’s internet usage.
3. Be Careful When Entering Special Characters
This is one of the safety tips for online shopping. Some characters are commonly used to access certain web pages, including hyphens (“-“), question marks (?), and periods (.). If someone were to use these characters to gain unauthorized access to your account, they could steal your money or change your password without your knowledge.
To prevent this, you should only use standard keyboard symbols. com/. Also, remember to double-check the URL after you submit it. Make sure that it is correct before logging in.
4. Keep Track of What You’re Buying
By law, most retailers have a 14-day return policy. As long as you keep track of it, you’ll be covered. To help you remember which items are yours, write down the name of each item along with its description and price. This will help you identify those things easily later.
It may seem like overkill at first, but by being organized, you will be able to attend important dates on your calendar. Plus, you’ll know exactly where to look next time you shop.
5. Delete Cookies
Cookies are small files stored on your device’s hard drives. They contain information about how you view sites and navigate through them. Some cookies are necessary so that a website can function correctly. However, many people mistakenly think that deleting cookies prevents their websites from working. In reality, it just makes browsing easier.
That said, you should still take caution when visiting certain sites. For example, you should only visit overseas online shopping sites by creating strong passwords, downloading anti-virus software, and turning off your computer when going to sleep mode. These precautions will protect your identity and prevent others from stealing your information.
6. Don’t Rely On Your Browser History
Your browser history contains all the websites you’ve visited within the last seven days. By default, every site allows you to save your browsing history and retrieve it whenever you want. Unfortunately, it is common for people to use this feature to spy on other users.
They might download entire browsing histories onto their own computers or sell the data to third parties. If you aren’t comfortable with this idea, make sure to disable this option. Additionally, you need to be mindful of the sites you follow. Avoid following random links on social networks, as malicious sites often create fake profiles to collect sensitive user information.
7. Turn Off Location Services
This is also one of the safe online shopping tips. Many apps use location services to determine where you currently are. This allows companies to target ads based on your current location. Although useful, this feature can also expose your information. Most smartphones already provide a setting to turn location services off. You should do this whenever possible, especially using public Wi-Fi spots.
8. Use Strong Passwords
This is important for cross-border shopping. Using weak passwords is one of the biggest Internet security risks. Weak passwords are easy to guess, making them vulnerable to hackers who want to gain access to your accounts. The easiest way to secure your online accounts is to create unique passwords for each service. Make sure you choose words that are difficult to guess such as names of family members, months, years, and pets.
9. Check Spam Filters Regularly
Spammers send out millions of emails daily in order to trick unsuspecting users into opening them. Cybercriminals may even hack email providers to gain access to personal details.
Even worse, they could change these details so that future messages look like they are coming from someone else. Hackers could then impersonate your friends and relatives to steal your money. To avoid spam, check your inbox regularly for any suspicious messages. Delete unwanted emails immediately and contact the sender if necessary.
In addition, newer versions of Windows and macOS come with new features that enhance your experience. But old versions can become outdated at any time.
Sometimes, updates fix bugs and add important new features. Other times, upgrades simply bring speed improvements. Either way, keep software updated because older versions can open you up to viruses and malware infections.
Online shopping safety is an issue that’s taken seriously by most tech companies. As a result, there are some simple steps you can take to stay safe when checking out the web.
Of course, only some methods can guarantee your privacy and security. So you’ll have to weigh your options carefully before taking action.
Hopefully, we were able to help you understand a few ways to minimize the threat of cybercrime and protect yourself while surfing the web.