- While some people may be concerned about crooks getting their address off of the side of the shipping boxes, it turns out that the biggest concern is what takes place way before the product is even packed inside of those shipping boxes. What am I talking about? I am talking about phishing and scams and malware. Do those sound like deadly diseases? Well, they are. They might not be deadly to your physical body, but they should still be seen as diseases threatening to infiltrate your cyber self.
- Thankfully, there are ten basic tips to help ensure a safe online shopping experience:
Use trusted websites. A lot of websites are specifically designed to trick you, so be hesitant about using ones that appear to be misspelled or are attached to lesser-known domains.
Always make sure that the beginning of the site starts with HTTPS. That “s” means “secured”. This will encrypt your credit card information and make it harder to be hacked. Also, there should be the icon of a locked padlock next to the web address.
There is no need to divulge your social security number or your birthday. If an online retailer is asking for, you should go with someone else, no matter how good the sale is.
Once you’ve purchased something online, start checking your bank statements. Make sure the amount being deducted is the same amount you were anticipating.
Make sure you are using anti-virus protection to guard against hidden threats. Most criminals aren’t going to try to extract your information from you directly when they can just pull it right from your computer.
- Come up with passwords that are unexpected and hard to guess.
When shopping on your mobile device, your best bet is to use the App that the retailer recommends. This will help protect you against getting hacked on the internet through your mobile device.
Don’t make purchases on public computers. If you are out and about at a coffee shop with your own laptop, try to make sure that you are sitting in the back, with your computer facing away from people so that they can’t walk by you and snap a screenshot or a glance of what you are doing.
Use a virtual private network if you use Wi-Fi a lot.
Don’t buy gift cards off of auction sites (like eBay)
- BONUS: Sitback and enjoy the delicious suspense of waiting for those shipping boxes toshow up at your front door!