Underused Online Shopping Security Tips
Online shopping is easy and convenient. It takes just a few clicks to order a product and have it delivered to your front door. Maybe you can add a few clicks more for product and price comparisons across websites, but that’s about it. Hassle free and comfortable.
But where there’s money and users to be found, malicious hackers will roam too.
As we go through this article, we’ll talk about the various methods cybercriminals use to exploit unsuspecting shoppers and how you can protect yourself against them.
Here are just a few of the things you will learn by the end of the article:
- Why a credit card is safer than a debit card
- How to spot a fake shopping site
- Why it’s important to keep your software updated, and how to do that automatically.
HERE ARE SOME DEAD GIVEAWAYS THAT A SHOPPING SITE IS FAKE:
- Strange URL’ssuch as “prada-at-awesome-price.com” or “the-bestonlineshopping.com”.
- A strange selection of brands. For instance, the website claims to be specialized in clothes but also sells car parts or construction materials.
- Broken language.Any self-respecting online shop will hire a specialized copywriter to come up with beautiful product descriptions. Alarm bells should go off in your head if descriptions don’t make sense.
- Strange contact information. If the email for customer service is “firstname.lastname@example.org” instead of “email@example.com” then you can bet that online shop is fake.
- Prices are ridiculously low. An online shop that has an iPhone 7 at 150$ is most likely trying to scam you.
- Horrible design. Online shops, particularly those in the fashion niche, take great of the design and usability of their websites.
Hopefully, these basic tips will help you purchase products only safe online shopping sites.
2. Access secure shopping sites that protect your information
If you want to purchase from a website, make sure it has SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed.
To know this, the site should start with https:// and you should notice the lock symbol, which is in the address bar at the top.
To access secure websites, we recommend a useful browser extension like HTTPS Everywhere that encrypts connection to major sites and increases your information security.
5. Keep an eye on your bank account
Malicious hackers really want your credit card data, and online shops are the best place for them to get their hands on such information.
Credit card data leaks aren’t always your fault. Often times, companies get hacked and their information falls into the hands of cybercriminals.
For this reason, we urge you to periodically review your bank account and check up on any suspicious activity.
- Never let someone see your credit card number;
- This may seem obvious, but don’t keep your PIN number in the same spot as your credit card (you would be surprised how many people do this);
- Destroy and delete any bank statements you have read. For statements in digital form such as pdf’s or Word documents, we suggest you use afile shredder instead of simply deleting them, since this makes the files completely unrecoverable;
- Notify your credit card issuer of any address change. Doing so will prevent them from sending sensitive files to the previous address;
- Whenever possible, try to activate two-factor authentication payment methods
- Be sure to keep confirmation numbers and emails for any online purchases you may have done;
- Immediately lock your credit cards if you lose them. Even if you’re sure you just misplaced them, it’s best to be paranoid rather than defrauded
13. Don’t give internet shops more private information than they need.
In order to shop online you need to provide two types of information: payment information, such as credit cards data, and shipping location, which is usually your home or work address.
Be suspicious of online shops that ask for information such as: date of birth, social security number or any other similar information. They don’t need it in order to sell you things.
The safest way to pay online is to give your money directly to the delivery agent instead of paying by credit card. This way, the online website won’t get to have your payment information in their database, meaning a malicious hacker won’t get his hands on your data if they break into the seller’s website. Admittedly, few online retailers allow this, but if available, use it.
And if you don’t want to give away your work or home address, see if it’s possible to have the package dropped off at a certain delivery point where you can just go and pick it up
Online shopping safety is a growing concern among both e-retailers and shoppers. The former wants to protect their reputation and preserve consumer trust, while the latter wants to know their money is safe.
A lot of progress has been done over the years, such as two-factor authentication and improved infrastructure. But one thing we are apprehensive about are companies seeking to “improve conversion rates”. In order to sell more, they cut down on the steps required to buy something, and more often than not, those extra steps tend to be security measures