image source: medium.com

Whenever you look at the news, you can most likely see another hacking scandal, people losing their private information. This might make you feel like the internet is a dangerous place, and it can be without the proper knowledge and steps you should take to keep your information safe, especially when online shopping.

Go with your instinct

Just like in real life you wouldn’t go into just any shady store at the mall, use that same common sense when making an online purchase. Whenever you feel like a website you are using is crossing boundaries and asking for too much info just stop everything and quit the process, easy and simple. Even if it’s a good deal, maybe you had a promo code or online coupons, the risk is still far greater.

Buying on a mobile phone

This is definitely the age of smartphones, and it’s completely normal to use them everywhere, but using them for online shopping with a public network is a dangerous thing to do, you should avoid this at all cost. If you’re sharing the same Wi-Fi connection with a hacker he can easily take any information he wants from your phone, so always be aware. It might be inconvenient, but it’s much safer.

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image source: jingdaily.com

Bank Statements

When you buy something from a website that has scammed you with a debit card, check or cash there’s little to no chance you’ll get your money back, that’s why you should always be using a credit card. Because when you use a credit card the company in question is required by law to always refund your money if fraud happens.

Use a virtual credit card number

There are times when you see a deal that is just too good to pass upon, and in these situations, it’s best to use a very convenient little thing called a virtual credit card number, which enables you to shop online without giving out your real information. Some banks have this kind of credit cards, which expire after a certain period of time. The damage someone can do to you is minimal, and the number becomes useless quite quickly.

Having different passwords

It’s something you hear every day, even in video games, you get emails and prompts to change your password regularly, and it’s something that a lot of people find very annoying. But if you really want to keep your information safe when purchasing something online, then it’s imperative to do it. You should be changing your password every couple of months. If by any chance a hacker did manage to get into your account, and you haven’t noticed this is a great way of stopping him without any fuss. Also, make sure that you have different passwords across all your accounts.

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image source: kyabae.com

HTTPS and HTTPS Only

There are too many acronyms on the internet to keep track of them all, but this is one you should definitely know. The S at the end of this acronym stands for secure, and it means that your information is being sent in a secure way and that it’s using a Secure Sockets Layer, which encrypts the information going through and makes sure that only the intended people can see it.

Shady links in emails

No one really types out link into the address bar anymore, we just click on a link which directly takes us to our desired location. Phishing scams like using this strategy, by sending us emails from what look real websites, such as banks, online stores and other things you might find legitimate. But what it really does is send you to a sketchy website to get your information. Don’t give your information to any emails from sites you’ve shopped before, there’s no need for that, and you’re just exposing yourself.

Your internet browser

Whenever there’s a new update for your browser you get better overall security on the internet. So not updating your browser just means that you are handicapping yourself and making it easier for hackers to steal your identity or information. So all in all an updated browser means a safer online shopping experience.

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