Learn how to shop online without worrying about your security.
More and more consumers prefer to shop online. According to a study conducted by Forrester Research, the online retail industry became a multi-billion dollar industry in recent years and has generated more than $230 billion in sales in 2012. In addition, it is expected to grow steadily over the coming years and will reach $370 billion by 2017. This is not surprising considering the number of people who enjoy shopping online.
However, while online shopping has its own advantages, you need to be vigilant enough to protect yourself from uncanny scam artists who prowl the Internet in search of vulnerable victims. You need to know how you can keep your personal information and financial accounts safe from these cyber criminals. To protect yourself against security breaches, here are some suggestions that you may find useful.?
Safe Online Shopping Tips
Use websites that you trust. A lot of problems can be avoided by shopping from websites that you know and trust. As such, you may want to consider shopping from legitimate online shopping sites such Amazon.com and from the online stores of major retail outlets (Target, Best Buy, Home Depot). Check the spelling and top level domain extension to verify the site’s legitimacy since some sites sometimes use this trick to entice you to give up your personal info.
Take time to verify. If you are doing business with a seller for the first time, you need to verify the seller’s legitimacy before providing your personal and financial info. Conduct independent research, look for online reviews and note the seller’s physical address and phone numbers to make sure you are dealing with a legitimate business.
Be cautious when shopping with a search engine. Search results can be manipulated to lead you to malicious websites that are out to rip you off.??????
Make sure the site is secure. Never provide your personal information unless you are sure that the site is secure. Look for a closed padlock on your browser’s address bar and make sure that the website’s URL starts with https (instead of http) to make sure that the website has SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed.
Be wary of links and attachments. Opening links and attachments in emails, posts, tweets and online advertisements can compromise your security. In the same manner, downloading e-cards into your computer can also be risky. When in doubt, it is best to delete it or ignore it altogether.
Avoid public terminals. Don’t make a purchase using a public computer or a public Wi-Fi connection since they are not secure.
Be extra cautious when shopping online. It may entail some extra effort on your part but you can be sure that your identity will be protected at all times.