Shopping online can be a lot of fun. Some people don’t like the idea of physically going to the market to buy something. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic also forced people to buy regular items online. In the wake of the online shopping boom, the risk of losing personal data is also high.
For example, if you don’t want to go down to the Spectrum payment center, you should know how to pay bills online safely and for assistance, you can call directly to the Spectrum phone number. Similarly, if you like something at a clothing store and don’t want to make the trip, you can pay for it online. Whether shopping online is your choice or a necessity, there are risks attached. Keeping your data safe online might sound daunting, but you can do it by following these simple steps.
#1: Shop from Familiar Websites
The Internet Theft Complaint Center (IC3) of the FBI reported a rise in online shopping scams. You can take small steps and become safer online. If you have to buy something online, try to find well-known retailer websites. If you are trying out a new website anyway, look for legitimacy before you make a purchase.
For this purpose, you can check their address or contact information on their website. Similarly, you should read online reviews about the website. The more research you do about the retailer, the safer you can be from scams.
#2: HTTPS Lock on Website
An easy way to see whether your connection is safe or not is by looking for the security lock. You can spot the lock right next to the address bar in your browser. If the website has an HTTPS connection, it is safe to access. Therefore, any payment information you add is secure. Try to steer away from websites that do not have the HTTPS certificate.
#3: Use a Credit Card
It can be easy for hackers to steal your card information if you are not careful. If you put in your details in an insecure payment gateway, it goes straight to a hacker. Don’t worry; you are safe if you use a credit card.
Paying with a credit card means that the money in your bank account is safe. The hacker cannot use your credit card information without your knowledge. If the bank finds out that someone stole your card details, they will stop any fraudulent activity.
#4: Beware of Impossibly Good Deals
If a deal is too good to be true, it is probably a farce. Fake retailers can lure in customers by showcasing an exciting deal. If you are aware of the actual price of a product, do not trust such scams. The scammer only wants to get your data or your money. Therefore, you can be at risk of getting a fake product or losing your data online. So, use your sixth sense and intuition.
#5: Spot Phishing Links
A lot of the time, scammers use email marketing and social engineering to lure people in. If you get an email with a suspicious link, do not click on it. The email likely has a phishing link designed to steal your login credentials. You can avoid this by hovering over the link and reading the full address. Most of the time, the web address will be other than the usual. It can also have spelling errors that are easy to spot.
The phishing site can look the same as an actual login page, and most people overlook it. Phishing scams are easy to spot, but people fall victim to them because they’re not paying attention.
#6: Never Use Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi in cafes and restaurants sounds perfect because it is free. Remember that nothing good can ever come free. There are risks attached to all public Wi-Fis. You can never know how many other people are using the same connection, and hackers take advantage of that. All your information is up for grabs when you connect to public Wi-Fi.
#7: Use One-Time-Passwords (OTP)
OTPs are fairly common in the banking world, and your bank probably also offers the facility. Secure websites generate an OTP every time you make a payment. You can receive OTPs via SMS or email. The amount only goes through after you enter the OTP. If you receive an OTP and haven’t tried to make a purchase, somebody else might be using your details. In this case, immediately alert the bank and authorities.
While online shopping is a convenience, it comes with its fair share of warnings. If you keep your ears and eyes open, you can avoid an online scam.