6 Simple Tips for Safe Online Shopping

6 Simple Tips for Safe Online Shopping

Over the last couple of years, online commerce experienced a genuine explosion in popularity and became, if not a replacement, then a very welcome alternative to retail shopping. If we take a look at cold numbers, we will see that the volume of ecommerce sales is experiencing a stunning 23% year-on-year growth. According to some estimates, 95% of all purchases will be made online.

Obviously, this situation leaves a lot of money on the table. Some people will use that platform to grow their companies. Others will take an easier route and try to make some money through illegal activities and scams.

That, however, shouldn’t discourage anyone from buying online. You just need to make sure to do that in a safe and responsible manner. Let us take a look then at a couple of tips to help you along the way.

Don’t use unsafe internet connections

Don’t use unsafe internet connections

Most users are not aware of just how unsafe our internet connections and browsing sessions actually are. If they were, they would be very careful when leaving their personal information and credit card numbers out in the open. One of the simplest ways to put an end to this issue is to stop using public Wi-Fi connections. The second measure you can take is to make sure your device has the latest-gen firewall and antivirus protection. Last but not least, we suggest that, if you are forced to use public Wi-Fi, be sure to use some VPN app that will create an encrypted tunnel between your own device and the server.

Create strong passwords

Any ecommerce site will probably require that you create some sort of user account. Using strong and hard-to-decrypt passwords can go a long way in making this issue less problematic. But what makes some passwords impenetrable? Well, for a start you can start using complex sets of numbers, symbols, and uppercase and lowercase numbers. Also, you should strongly avoid dictionary words or personal information that cybercriminals can easily pick up from social media like favorite sports teams, pets’ or kids’ names, and similar. Most importantly, be sure to never reuse passwords for different sites.

Purchase from reputable retailers

Purchase from reputable retailers

This one is very simple – reputable and established brands always translate to enjoyable and safe online shopping. Knowing which store you can put your trust into, however, take some research. So, if we put aside juggernauts like, for instance, Microsoft and Apple, you should always check how long the online store has been in the game, does the website look professional and reliable, how well are brand handles social media, how clients feel about their previous purchase experiences, and so on. It is also very important that the store uses some form of two-factor authentication when creating user accounts.

Beware the deals that sound too good to be true

In most cases, the deals that sound too good to be true are exactly that – too good to be true. Of course, in some cases, the new competitors will try to gain momentum by offering products at discounted prices. But such things need to be double-checked, so you are advised to go back to the previous step. In most cases, the websites that offer amazing deals will either try to get a handle on your personal information, or they will sell you products that don’t fit the provided descriptions. Such scams are especially present with low-profile ecommerce stores that exist exclusively on social media.

Pay attention to email scams

The email scams are very closely related to the topic we have just covered above, but they present an entirely different beast that requires special attention. What does a typical ecommerce email scam look like? Well, in most cases, you will get an email that there was an issue with package delivery. You will then be redirected to a website that is either packed with malware or require that you enter some additional info to remove deadlock. In other cases, the criminals present themselves as an established brand and offer products at a very discounted price. Be very careful when receiving emails like these.

Pay with a credit card

Last but not least, we would like to point out that, whenever possible, you should avoid paying with debit cards and use credit cards instead. In the simplest of terms, credit cards do not give the seller direct access to the money in your main bank account. Second, credit cards offer zero tolerance or liability for fraud. If some malicious third party tries to make a purchase off your credit card, the vendor will investigate the case, shut the transaction down and send you a new card. Another option to consider is using a virtual credit card that gives you a virtual credit card number connected to your real account.

We hope these couple of tips gave you some general idea about the strategies you can use to make your ecommerce sessions, simpler, safer, and more enjoyable. In day and age, ecommerce makes an integral part of our lives. As time goes by, its clout is only going to grow. With things as they are, you need to make sure that your personal funds are well protected from any form of scam or cybercrime. Now, you have an excellent place to start.


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