The world is moving fast, so people now look for efficient means to get things done and match the pace. Convenience and instant gratification are what customers look for, and online shopping platforms have made this possible.
Currently, there are almost 1.92 billion online shoppers across the globe. It comes as no surprise that the number is expected to hit 2.14 billion by 2021. Despite the upward trend, many people are still skeptical about the idea of digital shopping.
They have security concerns and don’t want to fall victim to identity theft. However, following some simple tips, you can enjoy secure online shopping experience.
1. Update your Browser
For a safe shopping experience, your desktop/ smartphone’s security software must be up-to-date. You must have anti-virus programs installed on your system to identify and stop malware, viruses, and spyware. Perhaps, you find the regular update notifications annoying, but hackers can use software vulnerabilities to steal your personal info. So, don't ignore the security updates. Instead, install them as soon as you get the notification.
2. Shop from SSL Encrypted Sites
Essentially, Security Socket Layer (SSL) is a tool that ensures privacy and safety of your personal information that you may share with the site. Look at the URL if it starts with an HTTP://, it is not secured. On the other hand, URLs beginning with HTTPS:// have SSL encryption. You may also find a padlock icon with the URL in the address bar or the status bar. Now, Google is also marking non-HTTPS as “unsecured,” which makes it easier to choose the right shopping site.
3. Avoid using Public WiFi
While it may seem convenient, shopping over a public WiFi, such as that of a coffee shop or eatery, for shopping is a BAD idea. Who knows if the network is secured or pose security threats? If you still want to use a public WiFi, make sure to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It’s an online tool that can help keep your data protected and avoid exposure to hackers. A VPN hides your IP address and protects your online activities, thereby allowing complete anonymity.
4. Don’t fall for a Scam
In the digital world, phishing scammers are one of the major security threats. Online shoppers often fall victim to scams and give out their details without realizing the consequences. No need to mention that these scammers steal your personal information and sell it to third-parties. So, if you see a phishing message popping up on your screen, DO NOT reply, delete or block the box. In case you get such email, don’t even click the “Unsubscribe” button as it may infect your system.
5. Share Limited Info
When you shop online, only provide relevant information. This may include your payment details, and your name, address, etc. But if the site asks for other data such as your Social Security number or gender, it’s better to switch to secured platform.
These are some of the basic security tips that can save you from a data breach, a potential identity theft, or other malpractices when you shop online.