The internet has dramatically transformed the way people shop. However, with online shopping’s speed, accessibility, and convenience comes the great possibility of cyber crime. While you definitely cannot stop criminals from hacking, what you can do is to be familiar with and adopt good online shopping habits. Make sure to follow the tips below to further level up your shopping experience and never let cyber criminals ruin it.
1. Do not use the same password for your accounts
Having the same password for all your accounts (email, shopping, and social media accounts) makes things more convenient. Aside from this, we know that having to change from time to time can be a real pain. However, by doing this, you only set yourself up for disaster as it will be an easy victory for cybercriminals to hack your information.
Once they’ve hacked one of your accounts, there is a high chance that your other accounts will also be compromised. Hence, you have to see to it that you have at least 3 or more unique passwords and write them in a secure place.
2. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when you shop online
This is a cliché thing to say, but never ever enter your personal information (especially when it involves shopping and bank accounts) when connected to a public network. A lot of internet hotspots do not encrypt data, thus making things easy for hackers to steal your personal information. The best thing you could do is to log in to your protected network.
3. In URLs, choose HTTPS over HTTP
Aside from its products, what should you look for in a shopping site? If you are not tech-conscious and savvy enough, you might actually miss this out. To ensure security, it is better to browse in sites that have an added “S” in their URLs.
This added “S” denotes that the particular website uses a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) that encrypts (converts) your personal information so you’ll be the only one to see them. Websites with SSLs have an unbroken key or a closed lock at the bottom of the screen when opened in most browsers.
4. Credit cards vs Debit cards
We all know that payments made in online shopping transactions made easy and less hassle with the use of credit and debit cards. But when it comes to making online purchases, which is actually safer to use?
The difference between the two when it comes to security is observed when fraudulent transactions happen. When fraud happens on your credit card, none from your own money is lost and this can supports a more positive outlook to discuss economics and ensure financial safety.
However, when it happens on your debit card, the account is already affected and there is no guarantee that your money will be returned. But if you do not have a credit card, just try to take note of the previous tips in order to protect your money from fraud.
Of course, aside from all of these aforementioned, it will still be best to trust your own judgement and instincts. Think of it as the act of not going to a store that appear weird and just refrain from buying from sites that seem to be illegitimate.
If the website seems to have an odd URL or shows numerous random pop-ups, maybe you should just forget about it and look somewhere else. Always remember that it is more important to be safe than sorry.