16 January 2021
Ten Online Shopping Security Tips
1. Avoid Fake Sites
Ensure that you’re buying from a real website. Fake sites are remarkably easy to create by the clever hacker and are designed to steal your transactions. Be wary of sites other than the big names. While smaller online shops are fine, just look into the type of security it’s using and do some research before purchasing.
2. No Rush Buying
Don’t be fooled into rush buying something that’s at a ridiculously low price. If a site is selling an iPhone for Rs.20000, then it’s more than likely to be a trick to lure you in and steal your money.
3. Fake Offer Email
Strange email addresses are something to look out for with suspect online shops. If the support email or contact information for the site is something like: firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com, then there’s most definitely something wrong. Even we might get fake offer emails as its from genuine shopping sites like Flipkart or Amazon. The fake email address would look like firstname.lastname@example.org or even email@example.com while the genuine address is flipkart.com. Always know the original source before clicking any links on these emails.
4. Always check for HTTPS
Remember to load up the online shop using HTTPS instead of HTTP. This will ensure that the transactions and data sent between you and it are encrypted to , the highest possible levels. If possible, use a browser add-on such as HTTPS Everywhere. Ensure the website where you enter sensitive information like passwords or credit card information must always use HTTPS. If the site is not using HTTPS, it is better to stay away from them.
5. Use Strong Passwords
Use a strong and unique password for all your shopping sites. Occasionally, although not often, websites can be hacked and the database of users is leaked. If your password is strong enough, it will stand up to any decryption methods. Follow a pattern which you remember and use variations for different websites, this will help you remember your passwords. Minimum length should be 10 characters with a combination of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols.
6. Avoid Public WiFi
Tempting as it may be, don’t use a public Wi-Fi access point to conduct any online shopping. For one, you could be attached to an Evil Twin Wi-Fi point, where the hacker is filtering all information through their system and two, all your data can be intercepted and potentially read. If you are in a position to connect to public Wi-Fi or any untrusted internet connection, use a VPN. If you want to purchase a fast VPN, I would recommend PureVPN. I have tested it and it offers good speed. Search for PureVPN review and discount coupon in this blog, there is an article for you.
7. Use Shopping Apps
If possible, always use an online shop’s dedicated app rather than the standard website. Websites can be compromised, however apps from iTunes and the Play Store, for example, can’t be altered by a third-party. Its verified by Google and there is a least chance of a fake copy.
8. Third Party Security
Invest in one of the many third-party antivirus and malware suites, such as Bitdefender. These programs also offer extra security when shopping online and can help prevent any hacking or data interception from happening whilst the transactions are in progress. They can also check the site you’re buying from, too.
9. Use PayPal or Wallet account
If possible use PayPal, PayTM, PhonePe or a Credit Card as opposed to a Debit Card. Credit cards have an extra layer of protection and legal standing than that of a debit card; PayPal features many protection elements within its accounts too. When using PayPal, the credit card information is processed within PayPal and not passed onto the merchant. By this, we have security of the PayPal payment processor. Merchant will have no visibility over the payment method used.
10. Regularly Check Bank Statements
Always keep an eye on your bank account and the transactions that go on after you’ve conducted online shopping. This will help you get an idea of what’s going on and should something suddenly crop up that looks suspicious, then you’re able to inform your bank before too much damage is done. You would need NetBanking facility activated by the bank. If not, contact your bank to get it activated. Its easy to download statements right from the bank’s official mobile app.