Shopping online is easy and convenient. It’s the perfect way to skip lines and avoid the shopping madness around sales or holidays. But, most of us are unaware or simply underestimate the cyber threats involved in getting a new pair of shoes online.
If you too prefer to browse the web for the best deals, check out these tips to enjoy a safe online shopping session.
1. Keep your operating system, browser and apps updated
It goes without saying but updates are fundamental to keeping your devices and any transactions you make online secure. Each new release brings fixes to potential security holes. Most desktop operating systems will auto-update but it doesn’t hurt to make sure. When it comes to apps, your app store will notify you when an update is available.
2. Know where and who you’re buying from
The number of phishing attacks has increased in the online shopping era, so before you trust a site:
- Make sure the name is spelled correctly on the address bar.
- Look for reviews by other customers on third-party sites.
- And, verify that the address and contact details belong to a real retailer.
3. Make sure your connection is secure
Always check for the green, locked padlock icon in the address field of your browser, which shows that a website meets strict standards to protect your data. If you use the Opera browser, its malware and fraud protection will automatically warn you if a site is known for distributing malware or for being malicious. WOT (Web of Trust) can also help you showing a site’s reputation as a traffic light next to the search results in your search engine. Red is a no-go.
4. Guard your personal information
Never share sensitive information like passwords or your personal identification number. Double-check the terms and conditions of the site to know what policies they follow when it comes to data privacy. And, think twice before you share your email address, phone number or postal address. Look around the site to see what the company uses this information for? Is it necessary?
5. Use VPN services to keep personal data secure
The best way to keep your personal data protected is using a complete VPN solution, such as SurfEasy. VPN services create a private, encrypted connection between your computer and the service you visit. You can use it to guard a Wi-Fi network, to change an IP address, or to work remotely within a corporate network.
Do you have other tips? Share them in the comments!