Online Shopper’s Survival Guide – All You Need to Know for Safe and Savvy Internet Shopping
Internet shopping offers many exciting benefits such as delivery, discounted pricing and instant search results, all from the privacy of your own home. But if you’re going to shop online, you must be mindful of the risks associated with it and take steps to protect yourself. Identity theft happens to more than 15 million people per year. Therefore, caution is crucial. The following are some tips for safe and savvy online shopping:
Tip 1: Conduct Frequent Virus Scans
The first step to ensuring a safe online experience is using virus protection software. You should run a full virus scan before visiting any shopping websites. Virus creators and hackers are constantly building new and improved malware. Therefore, you should make sure all protection software is updated before using it.
Tip 2: Use Only Secure Websites
Secure websites will have a web address that starts with https:// instead of the typical http:// beginning. The special address means that the site uses a secure protocol. Secure sites will typically have a lock icon on the screen as well. This confirms that the website’s security certificate is valid.
Tip 3: Do Not Save Credit Card Information
Some websites allow their customers to store their credit card and debit card information on file. They do this to provide their customers the convenience of not having to enter the info every single time. You should never store such information in the company’s database. Hackers sometimes crack into large websites and may access the company’s important files, including any stored credit card or debit card information. It’s best to just take a few extra minutes to enter the credit card information into the system each time.
Tip 4: Use Credit Cards Instead of Debit Cards
Credit cards should be used instead of debit cards for online purchases. They are better because their level of protection is higher. Most credit cards have fraud protection attached to them, and credit card companies will investigate any claims of unauthorized charges. Debit cards are usually connected to your bank account, which means that an identity thief or dishonest company could wipe out all your savings at once. Banks do offer a certain level of protection. However, a huge loss could turn your life upside down while you wait for them to investigate.
Tip 5: Use a Credit Monitoring Program
A credit monitoring program is a tool you can purchase to catch suspicious activity as soon as it happens. If there is a security breach, the faster you know about it, the faster you can recover your money and the easier it will be for authorities to catch the thieves.