Have you found the perfect deal online? Finding great prices through ecommerce sites is always a delight, but how do you know that the website you are on is a trusted website? When you do not pay attention to the places you are shopping or understand how to protect your banking information, you put yourself at risk of having your banking or credit card details stolen by hackers. This could result in identity theft or illegal purchases on your credit or debit card. Use the following tips for keeping yourself safe, when shopping online.
#1 – Use Strong Passwords
This tip should be applied across all online services, not just online shopping. Whenever you create a password, you should make sure that it is secure. Never use a password that is easy to guess. In fact, the best passwords are a series of completely random numbers and letters. At the very least, use a combination of numbers and uppercase and lowercase letters. Another idea is to use a password utility. There are programs that will randomly generate a password and store the information safely on a USB drive or your computer.
#2 – Be Careful With Mobile Shopping
Online shopping scams are not limited to the use of e-commerce sites on your desktop computer. There are phone apps created with malicious intent. When shopping through your mobile device, try to use apps that are provided directly by the retailer you are shopping from. For example, if you are shopping through Target, use their official app. The same goes for any major retailer that you want to visit. For smaller ecommerce sites, avoid using an app and just wait until you can access the website.
#3 – Do Not Shop Publicly
Never shop from a public terminal or a computer at a computer cafe. You may accidentally allow the browser to store your credit card information or leave your credit card information open on a website. Also, use caution when shopping while connected to a public network, through your laptop. This makes it easier for a nearby hacker to access your information. While the chances of that happening are rare, it is still a possibility.
#4 – Only Buy Gift Cards from Reputable Retailers
When you buy a gift card, either for yourself or as a gift, only purchase them from a reputable dealer. If you purchase a gift card online, only purchase it from the website where it will be used. While you will be safe purchasing a gift card from a major retail location, you never know if the gift card is legitimate, if you purchase it from a third-party ecommerce store.
#5 – Realize that Some Deals are Too Good to Be True
When you come across an amazing deal online, realize that some deals are too good to be true. Be wary of coupon scams and emails saying that you have won a product. This is especially common around the holidays. The only time you are going to win a free prize, is if you actually register for a contest through a legitimate source. You will not mysteriously receive an amazing offer in your inbox, so move these emails to your spam folder.
These tips are easy to follow and will go a long way towards keeping you safe, when you shop online. Always use strong passwords – preferably randomly generated. Be careful when shopping on a mobile device, do not shop over public networks or public terminals, only buy gift cards from a trusted source, and avoid deals and offers that appear to be too good. Stay safe and have fun shopping online.