We may be into the new year and past the holiday shopping season but it is still advisable to be cautious when you’re shopping online.
There are more opportunities than ever for people to take advantage of online shoppers. This includes viruses, phishing schemes and malicious apps that can endanger sensitive information.
There are ways, however, that online retail shoppers can protect themselves from malicious people.
Research new shopping apps before downloading
There are many shopping apps available for download that have the potential to save you a great deal of money. You should be aware, however, that not all of these apps are created equal. There are malicious apps poised to steal your information disguised as harmless shopping apps.
Before you download that app, do some research to see if it is backed by an official retailer. You should also look into the permissions that are required of your device.
Don’t use a single password
Although it may be easier for you, it is inadvisable to use one password for every account you have. Luckily, there are tools available for those of us that don’t have the brain power for dozens of passwords. There are secure password-generating and storing apps like 1Password, Dashlane and LastPass.
Consider utilizing a two-step verification for extra security
More e-commerce sites are starting to require customers to use a two-step verification process to secure transactions. Typically, a two-step verification requires a user to enter a security code that you receive from a retailer’s website when you try to log in. In this instance, if hackers are able to intercept passwords, they won’t have the security code to actually log into your account.
Shop only at retailers who have an SSL certificate
The retailers you shop at should have addresses that begin with ‘HTTPS’ rather than the previously utilized ‘http.’ HTTP websites don’t have the security required to adequately protect data from hackers.
Don’t shop on public WiFi
The safety of your own home network is the best place to do your online shopping. Public hotspots are rarely secure enough to enter your sensitive data into. Truthfully, public networks are only safe enough for remote browsing.
If you often browse through social media sites for your shopping ideas, being able to spot fake social media influencers is also an important measure of safety.