Shopping online is convenient and easy, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. There are plenty of cyber criminals ready to steal your hard earned money, and a whole lot more. How do you avoid becoming a victim while shopping online? Just follow these simple tips for secure online shopping and you can shop without worry.
1. Only shop on secure websites
Use caution when shopping or surfing, and stick to secure sites. Many browsers give a warning when you try to enter a site that’s not secure, but if you are in doubt, back out. How do you know if a site is secure? One of the most common ways is to look at the web address. If it starts with ‘https://’, then the site is secure.
2. Use secure payment methods
Although credit cards are generally insured against online theft, if you prefer to keep your detail to yourself consider using a secure third party payment method such as PayPal. PayPal stores your credit or debit card details and process the transaction under their name, keeping your financial details safe.
3. Be wary of email offers
Cyber criminals often send emails pretending to be from your favorite retailers. Once you click a link, you are directed to a bogus site where your information is stolen. Avoid links, and type the actual website address in to visit the site where you want to shop to avoid identity theft.
4. Online bidding sites
Online bidding sites such as eBay are common hangouts for scammers. Never send money for an item unless you are positive that the person is being honest, or you could lose more than just a few dollars.
5. Keep it to yourself
Never give out your Social Security number when shopping. If you are asked for it at checkout, it’s a scam. There’s no legitimate reason a retailer should ask for it, so don’t put your identity at risk by providing it.
6. Internet security software
Invest in some good internet security software to help you weed out the dangerous sites and help you shop safely online.