Online shopping is a convenient way to order your biggest wish list items from the comfort of your home, but being a virtual shopaholic isn’t without its risks. Whether you’re buying from a well-known site or an individual seller on eBay, you should take precautions to protect yourself.
Here are seven tips that will make your online shopping experience better safe than sorry.
Secure your passwords
It’s essential to choose a secure password when you’re signing up for an online account. If your passwords are easy to guess, then someone can potentially access your private information. Avoid using plain words or number streams like “password” or “1234.” Don’t repeat the same password on more than one site.
Shop with package thieves in mind
If you live in an area that experiences high package theft rates, make sure to take precautions when shopping online. Here are three examples of high-tech tools to keep your packages safe:
- An outdoor battery-powered security camera can keep an eye on everything that happens near your front door.
- A digital mailbox from providers like iPostal1 can help you deliver packages to a fully-staffed mail center and check for deliveries on your smartphone.
- Using a smart padlock, you gain the ability to keep packages secured and out of sight from potential burglars.
There’s nothing worse than coming home to find your package was stolen, so use technology to your advantage and secure your property.
Don’t use public wi-fi or hotspots
Anyone can potentially access your personal information when you’re using a public network. Always avoid these connections when entering sensitive information online. Public networks don’t use the same type of security you do on your home network, so save the online shopping for when you’re not using a free hotspot.
Keep your security software updated
If you have outdated security software on any device, hackers can potentially access your private information. Pay attention when you get alerts to update services like Norton or BitDefender.
Don’t use a debit card
Hackers can gain access to your bank account’s entire balance when you use a debit card online. It’s safer to use options such as PayPal or a credit card. A credit card typically makes regaining your money more straightforward than it would be through a bank when disputing phony charges.
Shop with a VPN
When you shop online, use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to stay safe as you check your accounts or make purchases on sites like eBay and Amazon. A VPN scrambles any information that leaves your device and leaves you free to browse anonymously.
Check the URL of the website you’re visiting
While most websites use the standard “HTTPS://” for their URLs, you should always double-check to ensure they are safe from cyber-attacks. If it’s not “HTTPS://,” then do not enter any personal information into their form fields or click any buttons on the page. Wait to do that until after you’ve researched whether or not the site is legitimate.
The Internet can be as dangerous as it is practical. Using these seven tips, you can prove that clicking “buy” doesn’t have to mean saying bye to peace of mind.