Shopping online makes everything easier, except for saving money. Online shopping has taken the hassle out of the whole experience. Today you can simply jump online and buy a number of outfits that you like. If some don’t fit you, you can usually send them straight back for a full refund. Online businesses have tried to think of everything to help you part with your money and they continue to make it easier and easier to spend. Last Christmas I was able to take care of all my Christmas shopping without even leaving the comfort of my couch. There is one danger with online shopping and that is the risk of being scammed. The internet is full of nefarious websites and hackers and the moment you are using your credit card online you are taking a risk.
Statistics now show that a computer is hacked somewhere every 39 seconds. This means that since you have started reading this article about six people have been hacked. It is no longer a case of simply avoiding hackers because they are everywhere, but having a proper solution in place to defend your accounts and credit cards.
The first tip is to look at your passwords and how safe they are. If you use one password for a number of sites that should be secure you are immediately opening yourself to be hacked. Only one of these sites needs to lose your password or be hacked and suddenly criminals will have access to your login details for a bunch of sites. I have recently taken the approach of a password manager. This creates a unique password for each site I need to log into and saves that password on the computer. This is a great solution because it is getting incredibly tough to remember all these passwords and it is perfectly safe as long as you are in a safe physical environment. If your computer is stolen many of the passwords will go with it. Only use this approach if you are sure it is physically safe.
While many online guides tell you to watch for the padlock in the top corner of the URL address bar, you should be careful of this. That padlock does indicate a secure site and that your connection with the site is private. However, that lock can be purchased at a very low cost and does not mean that the creators of the website are not misbehaving with your data.
Always check URLs and be mindful of how you access websites. Try to stick to websites that are reputable and have plenty of reviews. You don’t have to stray very far away from the popular websites before you end up in fake stores that don’t actually have anything to sell. Be careful of purchasing based on ads. While you may trust Instagram, don’t trust the ads that you see on the app. The same is true for Google and Facebook. While these three sites are safe, the third parties that use them may not be.
Always check your credit card bill after a purchase and in the following days so that you can be sure you have not been ripped off. If you have, act quickly to stop your credit card and notify your bank immediately.
If you can follow these simple tips you will be a lot safer in your online purchases. Online purchases are relatively secure as long as you are smart in your approach. It is the same as walking down a high street to make a purchase. You wouldn’t walk around showing off bundles of cash. So don’t partake in silly behavior online either. Shop smart, wherever you are.