Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Shopping Has Shifted Online: How to Stay Safe


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 Online shopping has become the norm, and it's easy to love it. It saves you the agony of moving from one physical store to another to compare prices. With just a few clicks, you can quickly find what you need, pay for it, and have it delivered right where you are.

 However, while it’s easy to find what you want, you can also quickly become a victim of online fraud. In 2016, for example, the Internet Crime Complaint Center in the FBI department received almost 300,000 theft complaints. The accumulative money lost was approximately $1.3 billion. The risk of online shopping has increased over the years as more people try to scam unsuspecting buyers out of their money.

 Thankfully, you can stay safe and secure your shopping experience in these online stores. Don't click the buy button on any online store until you’ve checked the safety of the transaction. Here are insights to guide you.

Shop from Trusted Stores Only

Regardless of how attractive an offer is, avoid buying from stores you don't trust. Keep in mind that some online stores are fabricated by cybercriminals who only want to steal your credit card information and other details. With this in mind, you should consider doing some background checks of the store you want to buy from.

 Check online reviews to see what other online shoppers have to say about the store. Sites like TrustPilot provide updated reviews of online sites. Dealing with famous eCommerce websites is more reliable, but they can also be prone to attacks. This calls for extra precautions as follows.

Avoid Using Your Debit Card

It’s always advisable to use credit cards rather than debit cards when shopping online. Check out the differences in Pigly.Com. Alternatively, rely on online payment services like PayPal.

 The danger of using debit cards is that they're linked to your bank account. This puts you at a higher risk of losing your money if the cards fall into the wrong hands. Credit cards are more protected and come with less liability if they get stolen.

 Credit card companies are fast at reversing fraudulent charges on the card. They also conduct an investigation immediately, which may not be the case with your debit card.  

Use Updated Software

One of the easiest things you can do to protect yourself online is to use updated software. It’s saddening that many people put off this crucial task even when software updates are released to improve security. While it’s inconveniencing to wait for your laptop to install updates, the protective benefits are worth the wait.

Avoid Giving More Information Than Needed

Most online shopping websites will ask for some information to help complete your purchase. Only provide the information necessary for the transaction to go through. Always consider skipping the optional information like address or phone number.

 The more information you give, the easier it is for fraudsters to get you. Ensure you read the site’s privacy policy before transacting to see how your information will be shared.

Take Away

You need to be smart when shopping online and remember that scammers are waiting to steal your money. Before you buy anything from online vendors, take all precautions to ensure you‘re safe. A stolen identity can leave a significant dent in your finances and online reputation.  


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