Online shopping is convenient and the way most people shop nowadays. Most online retailers provide safe shopping for consumers, but the internet is still full of cyberthieves waiting to pounce. You can never be too careful. These are the 12 tips for a safer online shopping experience.
Research Businesses That Are New To You
Did you notice an incredible product from a business you’ve never purchased from before? Make sure you look up any company you haven’t bought from in the past to ensure safe shopping. Read online reviews and investigate the Better Business Bureau website for any complaints that the business may have received.
The FBI reports that some scammers hijack the contact information of real businesses to appear legitimate. Click on their “contact us” page for a working U.S. address and phone number. Feel free to take it further and call the company to verify. This reasoning is why you should go through all this trouble.
Shop With Reputable Retailers
The best way to shop is with online retailers you know and trust, like DailySale. Take time to bookmark your favorite shopping websites to arrive there quickly and safely.
Avoid typing the website’s name into the browser or search bar because one small typo could land you on a fake website that looks eerily similar to the real one. Entering your personal information onto an illegitimate site to make a purchase will result in harmful consequences.
No Browsing on Public Wi-Fi
Shopping online requires you to give out information you don’t want a hacker getting their hands on, such as your name, address, and credit card information. You never know if the person sitting next to you on their laptop is a hacker. Unfortunately, it’s best to avoid shopping online while using public Wi-Fi at your favorite coffee shop.
It can be tempting to make purchases, but it’s best to save the shopping when you’re at home or on a secured wireless connection.
Utilize a VPN
VPN stands for virtual private network. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between the server and your phone or computer. It adds another layer of protection when you’re browsing on public Wi-Fi.
A VPN stops any cybercriminals from spying on what you’re doing or grabbing any of your personal information. Utilizing a VPN is the only way to shop safely online from airports, cafes, and other public places.
Create Strong Passwords
There’s a reason why professionals warn us about using the same password for every site. It’s also essential to use strong passwords. Here are a few quick guidelines for choosing a strong password:
- Use a complicated set of lowercase and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Consider using a long-phrase you use that cyberthieves are unlikely to guess.
- Avoid using personal information and dictionary words someone could easily guess or find. This information includes your birthday, kid’s birthdays, or a favorite color or sports team.
- Avoid reusing passwords across multiple websites. A criminal can gain access to other accounts from a single data breach at a company.
Guard Your Personal Information
One general rule to remember: no shopping website will ever ask for your social security number. Reputable businesses will only ask for the minimum information necessary to complete an order. Run the other direction if a site requests your social security number.
Pay With a Credit Card, Not Debit
Using a credit card will provide another layer of security when shopping online. A credit card won’t allow direct access to the money in your bank account, and most offer zero-dollar liabilities for fraud. Your credit card company will investigate, ask questions, and send a new card to you. You can rest assured that you won’t be held reliable if someone enjoys a shopping spree with your card.
Don’t Fall for Scam Emails or Texts
You may receive texts or emails telling you to “not miss out on this offer,” “claim your free tablet here,” or warn you that there’s been an “issue with delivery.” Don’t fall for these phony claims.
Quickly delete suspicious messages. Avoid opening attachments or clicking on links because they could contain a virus or other malware that will infect your phone or computer. Then you have a whole other costly issue on your hands.
Check Site Security Before a Purchase
A lock icon should appear in the left-hand corner of the browser bar of a site that uses SSL, secure sockets layer, encryption. If you don’t see this lock, the website is not safe. The URL should start with “HTTPS,” not “HTTP.”
Secure sites configure to mask the data you share with them online. This data includes financial information and passwords. When you only use protected websites for shopping, you’re reducing the risk of your information ending up in the wrong hands.
Slow down and pay close attention to that left-hand corner during check-out. If it’s not there, abandon the purchase.
Virtual Credit Card
This tip may seem like an unnecessary step, but a virtual credit card offers even more online protection. Credit card users can request a virtual card that’s linked to their account, but it’s a temporary number.
You can shop with the temporary number without showing your actual credit card details to the online retailer. A thief can attempt to use the card later on without luck because the virtual card is no longer available.
Keep an Eye Out for Fraud
Another tip for a safer online shopping experience is to keep an eye out for frauds. Be diligent about checking your bank and credit card statements once a week for fraudulent charges. Set up alerts to notify you if any new activity appears on your card. When you receive the notification, check your account straightaway to recognize or dispute the charge.
Don’t delay if you notice anything suspicious. Your bank and credit card company will work quickly to send you a new card and take care of the charges.
Track Your Items
After buying an item online, use the details the retailer sends to track your purchases. If a business refuses to send you the shipping information or respond to your requests regarding your status order, contact your credit card company for help.
DailySale is a reputable online store full of online deals and offers. We carry popular items in fashion, electronics, and more. Browse our website to find what you’re looking for!