How to Shop Online
Nothing beats loud traffic and long queues like the online stores. The convenient 24/7 nature of online shopping has found a secure place in everyone’s purchase routine—even extroverts.
We know that hackers and scammers have been trying to take advantage of users since the internet began. And our online shopping sprees are not immune from their attacks. However, there are some excellent ways for you to arm yourself and get savvy.
Check out these 10 security tips to stay secure when shopping online.
Safety and Security Tips Online Shopping
Here we talk about some best practices like using credit cards, downloading verified apps, using a VPN, and more.
By the end of this article, you will have learned enough to protect your identity, devices, and payment profiles.
1. Shop With a Reputable Brand
A popular brand is your safest bet when shopping online. Well-reputed sites have earned their trust from a long list of happy customers and possibly years of online service.
There’s a simple reason it works: a bigger reputation means more eyes on you. Any scams are likely to be spotted before you even get wind of it. This is why online shopping is safer with legitimate brands, especially when it comes to securing card details and personal information.
Just make sure you’re on the correct website and always double-check your spelling.
2. Be Aware Before a Click
Scammers are known to cheat people through pop-up ads, malicious links, and promises of unbelievable discounts. Don’t fall for it.
Be skeptical of random offers asking you to click on an offer link. Instead, go to the official website in a new tab and verify if the offer is legitimate. Most reputable companies offer 24*7 chat support — so make use of it to confirm the validity of any discount.
3. Use a VPN
A Verified Private Network (VPN) essentially creates an encrypted tunnel to secure your device while using the internet. This keeps your IP address out of a hacker’s reach on all your devices, even if you’re connected to public Wi-Fi.
For example, Avast’s SecureLine VPN allows you to experience true online privacy and freedom on 10 devices, all at the push of a button. Encrypt your internet connection here.
4. Before Purchase Check Site Security
Checking a website’s security before making a purchase is one of the most important online shopping tips to follow. Secure websites are configured to mask sensitive data like passwords and payment profiles, and they significantly reduce the risks of a data leak.
Look for a tiny padlock symbol in your URL field when you’re shopping online. If you see it, the site is secure. Clicking on it will show you more details of the site’s Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Additionally, the site’s URL will begin with an ‘https://’ instead of just ‘http://’.
Remember, if you see the words ‘Not Secure’ in the URL bar, walk away.
5. Use a Credit Card When Shopping Online
If you’ve ever wondered how to shop online while keeping your data safe, this is the answer. A credit card doesn’t give scammers access to the funds in your bank account, whereas a debit card does.
Credit card companies are quick to block your card, initiate investigations, and share liability in case your card number is stolen. Some companies even offer a ‘chargeback’ option to dispute charges immediately.
Be cautious of emails from unknown senders pretending to be online stores offering amazing discounts.
Such emails typically contain links and attachments designed to infect your device with viruses and other malware. Avoid the temptation to click on such links and never download suspicious files.
Also, never reply to such emails with any personal information. Instead, ‘move to spam’ and ‘delete forever’.
7. Don’t Access Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi can be one of the most dangerous traps for online shoppers. This is because public connections are typically unsecured, allowing hackers to steal sensitive information.
Using a VPN can protect you without affecting the way you shop. The AVG Antivirus for Android – Ultimate helps guard your mobile device against attacks.
Its features include:
- The AVG Antivirus, which protects you from viruses, spyware, thieves, and snoops
- The AVG Secure VPN, which secures you while using public Wi-Fi
- The AVG Cleaner, which deletes malware from your mobile device
8. Download Verified Apps
Some mobile ads prompt you to download a ‘wonderful’ application that can give you the best discounts and offers. Be careful of such apps, especially if the website isn’t vetted or popular.
Always download shopping apps from reliable sources like the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. When installing, be cautious of the permissions the app asks for. Don’t give an app any access you’re uncomfortable with. There is always a better, safer way.
9. Choose Strong Passwords
One of the best online shopping tips and tricks is to use strong passwords everywhere. The purpose of a password is to protect your account from cyber thieves who want to steal your personal information and card numbers.
Longer passwords (at least 8 characters) using a combination of ASCII text—like symbols, numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters—are a good start. Avoid dictionary words and easy-to-remember favorites like food, pet names, and birthdays. Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, and don’t share them with others.
Change passwords regularly.
10. Software Updates
Many people are put off by software updates and find it unnecessary. Truthfully, these updates are released to improve security and to defend your device against new attacks.
The next time you’re prompted for an update, take the time to install it. Also, be sure to run the latest version of any shopping app you use. The added protection is worth it.
Follow these expert tips to protect yourself. If you know someone who has experienced trouble while shopping online, send this article to help them protect themselves.
For a more fearless experience, use AVG internet security to safeguard your personal data and to stop advertisers from tracking you. This will ensure that all the websites you visit or shop with are safe and that your sensitive payment details remain secure.
Now go ahead, and ‘add to cart!’