Are you an online shopper? If so, you’re not alone. In 2020, global e-commerce sales amounted to 4.2 trillion U.S. dollars and are projected to grow to 7.4 trillion U.S. dollars by 2025. That’s a lot of shopping. While many advantages come with this modern lifestyle. However, there are also some risks. Follow these tips to help ensure your online shopping experiences are safe and secure.
1. Use a Credit Card
When making online purchases, it’s best to use a credit card rather than a debit card. Debit cards are linked directly to your checking account, and if your information is compromised, your entire account could be drained. Credit cards offer more protection against fraudulent charges, and if there is a dispute about a purchase, you may be able to get your money back.
When entering your credit card information, make sure the website is encrypted. Also, be sure to review your credit card statements regularly and report any fraudulent charges immediately. If your credit card information is compromised, contact your credit card company immediately. They will likely issue you a new credit card and block the old ones.
2. Create Strong Passwords
It’s important to create strong passwords for your online accounts. A strong password should be at least eight characters long and include a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also a good idea to use different passwords for each account.
If you have issues trying to remember passwords, find a password manager like LastPass or Dashlane that works for you. These programs allow you to create and store your passwords securely. Also, be sure to update your passwords regularly and never share them with anyone.
3. Only Shop on Trusted Sites
For modern enterprises, data security and transmission are critical. It is the only way to ensure that customer and employee data is not compromised. Protected, secure online shopping is a key piece of e-commerce infrastructure, and it’s one that shoppers should demand.
When shopping online, only visit trusted websites. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar and make sure the web address starts with ‘HTTPS’. This indicates that the site has been verified and is safe to use.
Shopping from trusted sites is also very important when purchasing luxury items like jewelry. This is because there are a lot of counterfeit products online, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between a real and fake product.
Fun fact: Diamonds are the most popular center stones, accounting for 86% of the market, followed by other precious stones (10%) and then colored diamonds (3%).
4. Do Not Click on Suspicious Links
Be careful about clicking on links in emails, social media posts, or text messages. These links may lead to fraudulent websites or malware. If you’re unsure whether a link is safe, don’t click on it. Instead, type the website’s address into your web browser manually.
If you do click on a suspicious link, scan your computer for malware immediately. There are many free programs available that can help you do this. Also, be sure to update your antivirus software regularly and run scans on your computer frequently.
5. Don’t Overshare Information
When you create an online account, be sure to provide only the required information. Do not share your Social Security number, date of birth, or other personal information unless you are sure the site is trustworthy.
Be especially careful when providing this information to third-party websites. These sites may not be legitimate, and your personal information could be compromised.
If you suspect that your personal information has been compromised, contact the credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your account.
6. Use a Secure Wi-Fi Connection
When shopping online, be sure to use a secure Wi-Fi connection. Public Wi-Fi networks can be easily hacked, and your personal information could be compromised. If you don’t have access to a secure Wi-Fi network, consider using your cellular data connection instead.
Whether you are buying household items or booking an appointment for your annual roofing inspection, always ensure you protect your information online. You can ensure a safe and secure shopping experience by following these tips.