Life has never been easier thanks to online shopping. Getting a new dress urgently or picking out the perfect gift is easier than ever because of how convenient online shopping is. However, as much as we’d love to go on an online shopping spree every now and then, and as much as we believe in the power of ‘retail therapy, the last thing we all want is to deal with financial and personal risks online.
There are a ton of reasons we must protect our financial and personal data online, so here are 7 online shopping tips you should use to protect your information from cybercriminals.
- Don’t use the debit card
Always use your credit cards or other payment services like Paypal to pay online, instead of debit cards. Debit cards are directly linked to your bank account, making you a vulnerable target to malicious hackers. Credit cards on the other hand offer less liability and more protection if a card number gets leaked. Sticking to credit cards and payment services also reverses the charge in case of transactions on fraudulent sites.
- Only shop from secure shopping sites
Whenever you’re shopping online, make sure the site is secure and legitimate when you visit it. A legitimate and secure website will start with ‘HTTPS’. The ‘s’ in the end means the site is encrypted, legitimate, and protects your data.
- Don’t fall for email scams
Email scammers love the holiday season because they get to send out malware and viruses in emails in the form of a special offer or personalized gift. The best way to avoid getting scammed by email scammers is by not opening any emails from websites you haven’t visited or people you don’t know. Most email scammers also try to get you by sending you fake messages from your bank and asking for account or card details because there’s a ‘problem’ with your account.
Never give out any personal or financial information to anyone. Verify the potential problem with the bank in such cases and never respond to such emails with your financial information.
- Don’t open links
In addition to fake emails, bad guys also try to get your attention by sending links to offers and discounts that are too good to be true. You might receive links in your social media DMs leading you to holiday gifts, incredible offers, or bonuses. Don’t click on the link as it’ll compromise your security.
- Set stronger passwords
It’s a much-overused piece of advice but surely an important one. The best gatekeepers to keep your information safe and secure are secure and unique passwords. If you’re using the same password to log in on multiple shopping websites, it’s time to switch them up and set stronger passwords. Install a password manager to gate keep your passwords or generate new unique ones that are hard to crack! Download them with cable or fiber internet, and you’re good to go!
- Don’t use public networks
If you’re online shopping using public Wi-Fi, you’re basically inviting the hacker to come in and steal your information. Public networks are anything but secure. The information shared on a public Wi-Fi network is vulnerable to malicious attacks. Never ever log in your banking details or make transactions using a public Wi-Fi network. Switch to data mode if you really must, and make sure you’re not logged into any banking or payment websites when connecting to a public network.
- Be aware of smart shopping apps
Apps simplify online shopping, but theyit also makes stealing your private information super convenient. Avoid downloading apps that don’t seem legitimate, secure, and authentic. Make sure to download shopping apps from credible sources like Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Always read the comments and reviews of the app before downloading them. Ask Hargray customer service to hook you up with a fast internet connection to download shopping apps!
To Wrap It Up
Online shopping is all fun and games until your private information is at risk. Make sure your financial and personal data is always safe by practicing these 7 tips!