Not surprisingly, 91% of Americans have shopped online at least once and 25% of those shop online every month. Online shopping is the new normal. It’s convenient, fast, and allows you to purchase items from around the world with a few clicks of a button.
Online shopping can also be dangerous because you are putting your information out there for any scammer or hacker to steal and use. The good news is, there are ways to shop online while protecting your personal information
Here are four tips for how to shop online safely and securely.
Shop On A Private Device And Network
One of the most helpful online shopping tips is to shop on a private device and network. It might be tempting to use the free wi-fi in a store or to use a public or shared device, but, when you do, it’s an open invitation to steal your information.
When you use a public computer or open wi-fi, you don’t know if that computer has been intentionally infected with spyware or malware to steal information. For this reason, it’s best to use your device on a secured network when shopping online.
Make Sure The Website Is Secure
When you are buying things online, make sure you are shopping on a secure website. You can check if the website is secure by looking at the URL bar. If you see “https” at the beginning of the URL and a lock icon on the left-hand side of the URL, that means the website is secure.
On a secure website, the data is encrypted to prevent the transfer of your personal information, especially the sensitive data you enter, like credit card information. Privacy protection is essential when shopping online so always make sure the website you are using is secure.
Choose Credit Over Debit
The safest way to pay online is by using a credit card. If your online account is hacked and someone uses your debit card to make unauthorized purchases, you generally have 60 days to alert the bank and request an investigation. You may or may not receive your money back because you have no real protection with a debit card.
When shopping with a credit card, you’ll have some form of purchase protection and your fraud liability will be no more than $50.
Shop Trusted Websites
A great tip for how to buy online is to shop only the trusted sites that you have used personally or that have been recommended by someone you know or by online shopping sites list.
Some websites are completely fabricated and set up only to collect payment information from unsuspecting shoppers. By shopping a website you know, like and trust, you’ll reduce the risk of getting caught up in one of many online shopping scams.
How To Shop Online Safely: The Bottom Line
By implementing these helpful tips for how to shop online safely, you can shop to your heart’s content without the worry of being scammed or hacked.
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