Since the world of online shopping is growing rapidly, there is an online store for just about anything you can imagine. Many unique items that are not found in stores are offered online, so it is an appealing and easy way to shop. However, with skilled online hackers and other issues, you have to be concerned about protecting your information while shopping. Check out the following tips on how to stay safe when making purchases online.
Online shopping is convenient
The convenience of ordering online, one-step reordering, and automatic monthly subscriptions has become a benefit for many households. Competitively fast delivery times don’t keep you waiting long for an order to arrive, which makes online shopping appealing. Whether you are buying birthday party supplies, household essentials, or other items, you want to be safe each time you make an online purchase.
Online purchase safety
Buying things online is useful, but there are some risks. People looking to steal your information online and commit fraud have become smarter with tricks like sending phishing emails and creating fake online stores. Here are a few tips to keep you safe.
Avoid sharing your driver’s license number or Social Security number online. Credit card security is important, but these two forms of identification are more risky to share. Online stores do not need your driver’s license number or Social Security number to complete a transaction, so do not provide it.
Use credit cards for online purchases if you need, but never use your debit card since it is directly tied to your bank account. Either card should be monitored carefully for purchases that you did not make. Debit card transactions can sometimes only be reversed if they are caught within a couple of days or if they offer zero liability, but credit card transactions can often be reported and reversed up to 60 days after the activity occurred. Both debit and credit cards can be avoided if you choose to make online purchases with a prepaid card, like a gift card. That is a safer payment method to use because it is not linked to your bank account.
Look for more security when you agree to terms and use electronic signatures online. Look for a trusted and secure digital signature company name when you are providing your signature to make an online purchase. Keith Krach specially designed the secure electronic signature company called DocuSign to prevent fraud by including password login, identity verification, and tips on how to prevent fraud first hand.
How often do you take the time to think about how many people can access the information you provide in your security questions? Considering the fact that your mother and her maiden name are often publicly linked to you on social media, you might avoid this security question or make up a maiden name that you can remember, so cybercriminals don’t have access to the most common security information. If it is online, they will find it.
Since hackers can potentially access your email and all of the personal information stored there, you should have an email address dedicated only for online shopping accounts and confirmations. Watch out for e-cards from unknown recipients or emails with poor grammar. Be careful about emails from retailers, even places where you have shopped before that seem to be legitimate. Avoid clicking links within emails, since these can be dangerous. Instead, go to the website of the store and search for the sale item or type in a code for the discount.
Use different passwords for every website and login. If a cybercriminal has access to one account and the password is the same for other accounts, then both are at risk. Always update your software before shopping online so you have the latest browser, antivirus software, and software patches on your device.
Take advantage of two-factor authentication and do not save passwords to shopping websites. Some sites allow you to receive a code via text message that can add another layer of security to making online purchases. Avoid saving your information, login, and credit cards on any online retailer’s website. It is worth the time it takes to enter your information for every purchase to keep yourself safe.
Avoid shopping using your mobile phone. A cell phone will not do all of the safety checks that a computer usually provides, like checking links for safety and browser connections. If you do shop online using your cell phone, use a secure wireless connection. Avoid using public Wi-Fi, even if it seems safe and requires a password.
Follow this advice, and you will be less likely to experience fraud. Manage your online purchases carefully so you can enjoy the convenience of having the items you want delivered to your door without worry.