In the past 18 months, online shopping has revolutionized. People are aggressively buying everything online. From home decor to personalized services, everything can easily be bought online with a few clicks.
But as with opportunity, there comes risk. Online pickpockets may not exist, but there are still many reasons to protect your personal or financial information. To keep your personal data out of the hands of those on the naughty list, here are ten wise online purchasing tips.
1. Avoid Debit Card Purchase
The best way to pay online is using a credit card or a service like PayPal. Because your bank account information is tied to your debit card, you’re considerably more vulnerable if your data is breached. If a card number is taken, you’re better off using a credit card because you’re less exposed. This is a situation in which it makes sense to use plastic.
Pete Canavan, a member of our advisory board and a cybersecurity specialist, agrees. As a result, for quick returns in the event of a problem, he advises using payment systems and credit cards.
“Credit card companies normally reverse the charge and undertake an inquiry when a fake site or transaction is identified,” he explains. Debit card users may not get their money back until an investigation has been completed, which might take weeks or months, depending on the bank’s policy.”
2. Shop from Trusted Online Stores
Make sure the site you’re on is trustworthy and secure before you submit any personal and financial details. Look for “https” at the start of a site’s URL to see whether it is secure. Unless you see “s” at the end of “http,” the site is not encrypted, and your personal information is at risk. To ensure that you are shopping on a legitimate site, the “s” will be present. Whether you’re shopping online grocery in Singapore or purchasing virtual services, ensure that “https” is present online.
3. Update your software
Even though it’s one of the simplest ways to keep your data safe, many people put it off. In order to keep up with the ever-changing threat landscape, new software updates are frequently made available. Even though it’s irritating to have to wait for the computer (or smartphone) to restart after an update, the security benefits outweigh the inconveniences. Update your software as soon as you receive an alert to do so.
4. Beat Email Scams
When posing as a present or a special offer, email scammers love to distribute malware and viruses to unsuspecting victims. Don’t open emails from people or websites you don’t know. Fraudulent emails from a bank or other financial institution claiming there is an alarm or problem with your account are another way the evil ones try to get you. Never respond to an email like this with your account information; instead, contact your bank immediately to double-check any potential issues.
5. Stop Clicking On Suspicious Links
Be on the lookout for links to discounts that seem too pretty good on social networking sites, as well as in emails. Be on the lookout for amazing deals, holiday presents and bonuses. To avoid being taken advantage of, conduct some research or see if anyone else has attempted to take advantage of the offer.
6. Use Strong Passwords
Despite the fact that it may sound repetitive, this advice is crucial. When it comes to protecting your personal information, passwords are your best defense. Use a different password for every site you visit if you reuse the same one. A password manager can help you keep track of the kinds of long, intricate passwords that a hacker would have a hard time cracking if you use one.
7. Avoid Giving Extra Information
8. Don’t Go Public
Having access to free WiFi hotspots is like finding a golden nugget when you’re on the go, but hackers love them just as much. You should be aware that, due to the lack of security on public networks, whatever information you post on a public network is fair game for cybercriminals. If you’re using a mobile device, be sure to log out of any banking or payment services like PayPal when linking to a public network.
9. Be Careful With Online Shopping Apps
Shopping applications might be dangerous if you don’t know how to use them. There are many conveniences to apps, but there are also many dangers. You should only use apps for shopping that come from a reputable source, such as the Apple or Google Play stores. Pay close attention to the app’s request for permissions. Make sure you don’t let the program access anything that doesn’t make sense, such as your contacts. It’s also a good idea to read the app’s comments and reviews before downloading.
10. Give Rest to the Devices
It’s an advantage of internet shopping that you can do it from anywhere and with any device. Check to see if the devices you use to make your purchases are protected by security software. You should always use a password to enter your tablet or smartphone, and you should always log off your laptop or lock the screen if you leave it running. Avoid leaving your usernames, passwords, and credit card information stored on your computer or mobile device when you leave a shopping or banking site.
You don’t want any unpleasant surprises, such as your identity being stolen or your bank account being emptied. Use these savvy internet purchasing tactics to ensure only pleasant surprises this holiday season.
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