Protect Yourself With These Tips When Shopping Online

Online shopping offers a variety of benefits. Through online shopping, one can browse through various products compare their prices, find bargains, and shop from any location. But as its popularity rises, so has the associated risks. Each day, the number of online scammers who want to get private information such as your debit card details is ever increasing. An important tip that will help you shop online securely, whether you are shopping for furniture or need to order your next outfit, is to use review sites such as, read the reviews of the specific online store and only go for the positively reviewed sites. This article has discussed some important tips that will help you have a secure and safe online shopping experience.

Only shop from secure sites

Before you enter any financial or personal information into an online store, verify that the site is secure and legitimate. An easy way to tell this is by looking at the site’s address. It should begin with HTTPS. If the letter ‘s’ ¬†at the end of HTTP is missing, then the site isn’t encrypted, and your data isn’t safe on that site. Always confirm that the ‘s’ is there.

Avoid using debit cards

While shopping online, always ensure that you stick to credit cards and payment services such as PayPal. Typically debit cards are connected to your bank account, and thus using them leaves your account highly vulnerable as a person can potentially hack your bank account information. Credit cards usually provide better protection and less danger if the card number is stolen. Also, using credit cards will have you get quick reimbursements if something fails to go as planned during the purchase process. When a fraudulent transaction or site is detected, credit card companies typically reverse the charge instantaneously and conduct an investigation. On the other hand, once a fraudulent transaction is detected for debit cards, the bank may not refund you until it first does an investigation that could take weeks or even months after which you can get the refund. The process might be unnecessarily lengthy.

Beware of email scams

Be careful of email scammers in the name of advertising an online shopping store. They will send malware and viruses as a special offer or a gift. Avoid opening emails from online sites you do not know or sites that you have never visited. Also, be alert of phoney messages claiming to be from a financial institution or bank, saying there is a problem or with your bank account. If you receive such, ensure you contact the bank directly and do not enter any bank account information into such emails.

Avoid clicking on links

You should also be very cautious of links that offer deals that seem too good to be true. Always watch out for unbelievable holiday gifts, offers and bonuses. If an offer seems to be really tempting, before clicking, always do some further research and find out if someone else has tried out the deal before and how it went.

Never provide more information than required

Almost all shopping websites will require you to enter some information to complete your purchase or even start a wish list. Only enter the vital information in these shopping sites. If certain information such as a phone number or complete address is optional, it would be better to skip such fields. The more information you fill in shopping sites, especially those you are shopping for the first time, the more vulnerable your private information is. Read the privacy policy of the site you are shopping from and pay attention to the specific aspects of the privacy policy relating to the amount of information you provide shared by the site.

Be smart with shopping apps.

Shopping apps have made online shopping to be even more convenient. You can now be able to shop even at the comfort of your phone. However, always be cautious with shopping apps as they could make it easier for hackers to steal your private information, including your bank account information. To guarantee security, only download your shopping apps from reputable sources such as from the play store or the Apple App Store. Pay particular attention to the permissions that the app will ask for. Look out for permissions that do not make sense, such as access to your contacts. Do not permit such. Also, go to the comment and review section of an app before downloading it. This will help you recognise any suspicious comments regarding the app. Avoid apps with bad reviews, especially if all the negative reviews point out the same issue.

In conclusion, while the online shopping world offers a wide range of benefits. You should ensure that you go about it with great caution. This article has provided essential tips to ensure that you have a secure and safe online shopping experience.