Top 7 Tips for Safe Online Shopping
Online shopping can be a lot of fun, provided you take the right precautions. With online shopping, you are presented with a wide selection, amazing discounts and fast shipping. You will have the products delivered to your house without making your way to a store. You can shop from your mobile phone itself. That’s the good part about online shopping.
What you may not know about are the phishing attacks, where thieves steal your identity and credit card information by pretending to be real websites. In fact, 8 percent of credit card transactions are considered to be fraudulent. Some sites have dangerous malware on them are meant to hack into your system and peek into critical information such as bank account details.
So should you be scared and stop shopping online? No, not at all! You should just know how to protect yourself online, and follow some simple, practical tips for safe online shopping, such as the ones given here….
Is the Website Familiar to You?
Always shop at a website you trust rather than one you have found only through a search engine. It’s possible that some online stores use Black Hat SEO tactics to rig the search engine results, in order to attract gullible customers to their sites. Be very careful about where you shop. Some sites use misleading names – there could be a site called amazon.biz or amazon.net, for example. Be very careful about that, always go to the real web address, which, in this case is amazon.com or amazon.in.
Does the Online Store Have SSL Encryption?
It is very important that the online store where you shops has to have an SSL encryption. SSL stands for secure sockets layer, and you know that a site has it when it starts with https://, rather than http://. Sites with SSL encryption are generally safe and trustworthy.
Don’t Reveal All Information
Don’t reveal your most important information such as social security number (if you’re in the US), PAN card number (if you’re in India), birthday and so on. You don’t want crooks to get their hands on these things, as that would make it easy for them to steal your identity. Give away as little information as possible, always.
Check Your Credit Card Statement
Don’t wait until the end of the month to check your credit card statement. Go online and check the credit card statement after every purchase. Find out if there are any fraudulent charges – if so get in touch with the customer service department of the credit card company immediately. Pay the credit card bills only if the charges are accurate. If there are mistakes, you will be given 30 days to notify the credit card company about them. If you delay beyond that, you will probably be liable for the charges, regardless of how fraudulent they are. That’s why it is so important to check your credit card statements on time.
Safeguard Your PC
There are several things you can do to protect your PC from hackers. Install a comprehensive online security system such as Norton Antivirus or Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus. It is important not to visit sites or click on links that appear suspicious. Install proper firewalls for your PC.
Use Strong Passwords
Use very strong and non-obvious passwords for all accounts – especially banking and credit card accounts. Use a special character, upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers. Make the password as hard to decipher as possible and change all passwords every 3 months or so.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Stay away from public Wi-Fi systems. And even if you do have to use them, don’t perform any financial transactions on public Wi-Fi. In fact, never enter credit card information on public Wi-Fi. Most hackers take advantage of the relatively non-secure public Wi-Fi systems to launch their attacks.
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