Shopping online comes with many benefits. Great bargains, product variety, and convenience are just a few of the benefits that you expect to enjoy. However, there are also a few challenges which online shopping present. One of the major ones is security. The rate of cybercrime is at a record high, and online shoppers are among the victims. There are some measures, which you can take to ensure that you are safe from the hackers and fraudsters online when you shop. Some of the measures are highlighted below.
Safety tips for online shopping
Choose the right websites
You can shop from a wide variety websites. However, not all of them have good security features in place. Some may make it quite easy for hackers to access your information and use it for all the wrong reasons. In fact, some of them are platforms for fraud where the developers simply set the sites up as a trap for unsuspecting shoppers. Avoid using search engines to find the shopping sites. Make sure you choose a trusted and reputable site. Real reviews from other customers can help you make a good judgment.
Check the security protocol used
Before you use your credit card or give up any personal information, make sure that the site has secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption as the basic minimum. You will know if the site has the SSL encryption if its URL starts with HTTPS:// as opposed to just HTTP://. A locked padlock icon should also be present on the status bar of the browser or next to the URL.
Give only the relevant information
You should red flag any site that asks you for information that is not necessary to facilitate your shopping. Your birthday or social security number, for example, is not needed for online shopping. The reason that you should avoid giving such information is that crooks can use them to shop using your credit card and do quite a lot of damage. The less they know, the more difficult it will be for them to steal your identity.
Avoid using public Wi-Fi
Always make sure that you use a private internet connection whenever you shop online. Using public Wi-Fi exposes you to online security risks. The connections are usually not safe and can allow a hacker to gain access to your computer. The hacker will then get your private information from your computer and use it to steal your identity.