The benefits of online shopping are vast. In addition to being able to shop from the comfort of your own couch, this method of retail therapy also enables you to easily compare prices and find bargains all over the world. However, online shopping also presents danger if not exercised with caution. Here is what you need to know to arm yourself with the ability to shop safely online.
Control Your Personal Information
Unfortunately, many sites are fronts to get control of personal information and to then sell the sensitive data to other businesses. Be extremely wary of information that you give out to online vendors. For example, you should never give your social security number or any other personally identifying information.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to protect your personal data. Use strong passwords, and change them frequently to help to deter hackers. Take care to ensure that your social media settings are set to private. Legal Zoom suggests enabling two-factor authentication for your financial and email accounts for extra protection. Lastly, be sure to close all accounts that are no longer active. While you may not be using its services any longer, your data is still stored there waiting to be compromised.
Watching Out for Scams
There are thousands of online retailers. And while the overwhelming majority of these are legitimate businesses, there are also a fair number of fraudulent organizations that are out there to scam unsuspecting shoppers. It is a good idea to stick to well-known retailers if you are concerned about keeping your information and finances safe. According to Park Savers, you should be careful with classified websites like eBay or Craigslist because it’s often difficult to tell the authenticity of products. Products that are collectibles and tickets to events and theme parks are a few of the most common scams because it is easy to pass them off as originals.
Protect Your Wi-Fi Security
It is never a good idea to shop online using a public Wi-Fi account. While it may be tempting to do a little online bargain hunting while enjoying your latte at Starbucks, it is better if you wait until you get home to log on to your private Wi-Fi. If you must insist on shopping while on a public Wi-Fi, be sure to protect yourself by using a virtual private network (VPN).
While nobody can totally prevent identity theft or the proliferation of online scams, there are steps that you can take to mitigate the potential dangers. With the proper precautions, you can make your online shopping experiences positive and stay safe.
Protecting yourself in your home is just as important as protecting yourself online. Check out this article about how home security technology has improved in the last few decades.