Online shopping has just made our lives easy remarkably and thus saves a lot of time and energy. Especially for the couch-potatoes who loves to sit at home but want to get the shopping done. Such people have opted for online shopping, but for secure online shopping, you need to do some extra measures to avoid any cyber theft financial loss. In the last few years, the rate of e-commerce has boosted up surprisingly. In the year-end when all the shopping freaks wait for the holidays that bring the most awaited shopping season, somebody else also waits desperately for it, and that is the scammers and hackers (learn 7 ways to avoid being hacked).
What are the Threats of Online Shopping?
Yes, the ratio of scamming, hacking, and identity theft goes up during the holidays of Black Friday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New year eve. This is the most favorable time for the hackers and scammers, where some scammers are active and look for the loopholes in the security precaution that people make to be safe from such scamming. This happens because, during this season, shoppers from across the world rush to their favorite online shopping websites and get their shopping for holidays done only by clicking from their home. So when the online shopper’s traffic rises, the risk of scamming and hacking also multiplies. This affects so many people who do not make the necessary measures to be safe over the internet especially when they shop online and thus become the victim of such crimes like scamming, hacking, and identity theft.
This makes such people think to say goodbye to such a useful facility because of the fear of being victimized again by such criminals. But, this is not how things work. Leaving a valuable tool that facilitates millions of people around the world just because of your experience of being hacked and facing financial loss will not be wise. Instead of facing such criminal and making all the necessary precautions to be safe from them is a way out. Here we go with five ways that will guide you how you can be secure when you intend to shop online and will provide you with a smooth and secure online shopping experience with fewer chances of being hacked or scammed.
Threats of Online Shopping
There can be no other terrible feeling as a sense of being hacked and losing your personal and financial information. This sometimes even cause the victim to have a heart attack or nervous breakdown due to the sudden shock of losing their money. The internet world has become as insecure as the real world, where thieves and hackers are working around the clock to find the victim (get the most secure VPN to avoid any possible cyber threat). Especially the threats of online shopping are increasing day and night.
What people fear the most is giving away their financial information like their credit card number, account number, or such credentials. If such information becomes vulnerable to hackers, then this is the thing to worry about the most. It is because this can cause you to lose all your money in your bank account and the hacker can even use all your money for promoting criminal activities, and you will be blamed for his malice activities.
How to Avoid Cyber Attacks While Shopping Online?
Well, how you can possibly avoid cyber-attacks while shopping online is by being extra vigilant when giving away your personal and financial details to any website that you visit for shopping purposes. You should always trust your guts. If something on any website does not seem reasonable to you, just listen to your guts and run away from that website (learn more about internet privacy and security in our ultimate privacy guide). Never click on the appealing links and ads of winning a lottery or earning money online because such ads are nothing but scams most of the time. All you need to do is to be extra careful when you shop online especially when you visit any online shopping website for the first time.
Ways to Stay Secure When Shopping Online
Here I’m to tell you the ways by which you can be secure when shopping online. Let us go through these five ways of being secure before you buy online and this way you can minimize the risk of being the victim of hacking and scamming, after all, nobody wants to suffer from such misery.
1. Trust only Secure Websites for shopping
This is the most important thing that should be kept in your mind to get a secure online shopping experience. You should always trust the websites that are famous and reliable. Never give your personal and financial information like your account login details and your credit card detail for it may harm you and ultimately cause you to lose all your money. (Learn 10 cyber security tips you need to know). Moreover, you should make sure that the website you are about to give your financial details to, must have SSL encryption. SSL encryption is for the security of the confidential details provided by the customers. It makes the websites to prove their identity and encrypt your financial details.
Checking whether a website has SSL encryption or not is not rocket science. All you have to see is the address of that website. If it contains https, then it means it has SSL encryption that will encrypt your financial information. Do not give your credit card details to the websites with an address starting from HTTP.
2. Be Cautious while giving away your Personal Information
You should always be extra careful while giving away your personal data while shopping. It is a fact that every online shopping website asks for your personal information but what you should do is to avoid giving extra information about you. It is because the more information you input on the web, the more likely it is to be misused by the scammers. Furthermore, you should never connect your social media accounts like Facebook twitter or google accounts with any of the online shopping websites for it can be accessed by the hackers and they can make use of it (learn 5 Facebook settings you need to know).
3. Use PayPal For Payment
This way should also be kept in your mind when choosing the payment method. Many online retailer websites give the option to pay with PayPal. Paypal not only provides you with a secure payment method but it offers you a money-back guarantee if you get scammed using the Paypal payment method. In case, you do not have a Paypal account you are recommended to use the credit card rather than a debit card.
4. Avoid Open Public Wi-Fi for Shopping
We all look for public Wifi when sitting at the coffee shop or waiting at the Airport. But you should be aware of the fact that if you use Wifi hotspot to buy online, this means you are giving your personal and financial details on a plate to the hackers and scammers. It happens because most of the public Wifis do not have encryption, learn about VPN encryption terms. Thus, anyone sharing the same Wifi hotspot can get to know your personal and financial details with the help of malware. In short, you are advised not to use public Wifis of malls, coffee shops or airports especially when you want to shop online.
5. Use a VPN for Secure Online Shopping
Furthermore, using a VPN is a good way to secure online shopping. A VPN or Virtual Private Network is designed to give you a secure internet connection. (know in detail about VPN and how it works in our VPN guide). It works on the method of an end to end encryption. This means all your data packets pass through an encrypted tunnel. Hence, keeping your data secure from the rest of the world. This tool is best for you if you have privacy concerns. And to get a secure online shopping done with almost no fear of being scammed or cheated. Furthermore, using a VPN can help you get a discount too. Yes, you read it right. If you are the kind of person who looks for a discount everywhere. Then you should try this trick of using a VPN.
Additionally, this does not always work. You can give it a try. The VPN gives you the option of changing your location. Virtually, by switching your IP address with the IP address of your desired location. This way you can get a discount. For instance, if you see any sale that is only for US citizens and you are based out of the US then what you can do is to simply switch your IP address to an American IP and try to avail that sale which is only valid for Americans (get the best VPN for USA). So, using a VPN can provide you with the best of online security, as well as it may give you the chance of availing discounts.
Conclusion – 5 Ways to Stay Secure When Online Shopping
Secure online shopping will require you to be extra cautious. And vigilant enough to sniff the risk of being victimized by the hackers and scammers. Especially, during the year-end shopping seasons. Some shoppers rush online websites at the eleventh hour. This allows mistakes to slip through. To have a secure online shopping experience. All you have to do is to follow all the above-written ways. To make yourself secure while online shopping. However, nothing can guarantee a 100% shield from hacking and scamming. It is because the field of hacking is getting advanced day by day. Hence, making it difficult for ordinary people. To cope with it but all we can do is to make the necessary measure to do secure online shopping.