Purchasing goods online is incredibly convenient. You simply look up what you want to buy, add your credit or debit card details and then click purchase. You get the goods in a few days, the money is automatically transferred, and your details can even be saved securely so that the next time you make a purchase, you can check out more efficiently.
However, keeping your information secure when shopping online can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re new to using computers or haven’t bought many online goods before. So to help you stay safe while shopping online, we’ve put together a couple of useful tips that you should follow.
Be careful on public WiFi
Public WiFi connections are not secured or safe and they don’t encrypt your data in most cases. This means that hackers can and will take your identity (quite literally from thin air) if you use a lot of public WiFi at locations such as a coffee shop or even a mall. If you have to use public WiFi, then make sure your computer and connection are secured.
Check your card statements
If there are any suspicious payments on your card then you can report it to your bank to have it adjusted. Your bank will generally be very helpful when it comes to making sure that your money isn’t being stolen, but you need to catch the theft in action in order to build a case and make your bank listen. Check your card statements for strange payment amounts and make sure that your details haven’t been stolen from under your nose.
Always double check email links
Many scams involve parading as a company offering you massive discounts. Make sure you double check all of your emails and ensure that you’re not clicking on spam links that lead to malicious websites. This is perhaps the most common way that people have their information stolen so make sure you never click links in your spam mail and always be wary of deals that are too good to be true.
Don’t use the same password for everything
It’s common practice that you shouldn’t use the same password for every service you use. If you use the same password for Facebook, Amazon and also your work login, then just knowing a single password could compromise several aspects of your life. Change your password regularly and try to keep different passwords for each service that you use.
Trust your instincts
Sometimes, our instincts are the best thing to rely on. If something just doesn’t feel right about the price of an item then there’s a good chance it could be a scam, and if there’s a store you don’t recognize that sells things for a much cheaper price then you may also want to double-check if that store is legitimate or even real. There are many scams on the internet that are trying to get your information, so if something looks off or strange, trust those instincts and avoid them.