Hello my dear security conscious friends. Shopping is always immense when holiday times arrive. Still being in the Christmas spirit myself I thought that a post about safety tips online should be in order. So here are 5 tips to help you stay safe while doing online shopping.
Number 1: Use trusted websites to do your shopping
Nothing is more important that the trust you have in a specific brand. There is a reason why market websites such as Amazon are popular. They have a lot of experience a
nd people know the brand. The benefits of using such a website are two-fold:
- Well known commercial websites are without doubt more secure. They invest a lot of time and money to ensure that their system integrity is very high since dealing with payments is what makes their business run. If they didn’t they wouldn’t be trusted by online customers and go out of business. Did you see the item you want to buy for your significant other 10 Euros cheaper at another website that you haven’t heard of before? Just ask yourself is it worth risking your bank account getting abused for a mere 10 Euros.
- Famous brands are known to make refunds should the item not get to you or let you select another form of reimboursement. They always make sure that the client (that is you) is always happy in the end so why not take advantage of that and have some peace of mind? 🙂
Number 2: Never shop online from Public computers or Free Wi-Fi networks
I know it sounds convenient – you are sitting at a cafe and you shop through your phone or laptop using the free Wi-Fi you have. There is only one problem – you can’t t
rust that there isn’t someone in the cafe who is listening on the network for essential data such as your bank account details for instance. Better be safe and do your
online shopping from home. Alternatively, if you want to do some online shopping I strongly advise you to use a VPN connection to protect yourself when using public Wi-Fi. More on VPN can be found on my blogpost about VPN.
Number 3: Use strong passwords for your accounts at online shopping websites
In my last blogpost I write about the importance of using strong passwords for your accounts. Passwords are the key to the door of your account. So make sure you use a
very hard lock on it. One of the solutions to avoiding weak passwords is called LastPass. You can read more about it in my previous blogpost.
Number 4: Look for the padlock
In my first blogpost I have explained what the padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser means. In short, it shows that the connection to the website is secure
and encrypted so all the information you send to the website is not going to be discovered by any eavesdroppers on your network. There are two things by which you can easily identify that you are using an encrypted connection to the website. First is the padlock symbol as mentioned and the other one is that you connect to the website with “https://” in the beginning at address bar. More information can be found in my blogpost.
Number 5: Check your bank account regularly
There is an old saying that “Double-checking is a higher form of trust”. Even after adding all these layers of security it is a good practice to check your bank stateme
nts regularly. I strongly suggest you do that at least once every two days. This way you can react quickly if something went wrong with a transaction from your purchase
s and call the website on it. Mistakes happen all the time so it is better to keep track on your transfers than being both surprised and sorry at the end of the month.
So there you have it. Another dose of food for thought for your security conscious mind. Have you learned a valuable lesson from experience while online shopping? Or you would like to recommend or warn about a website that has done you wrong? Please let us know in the comments below. 🙂
As always stay safe and stay secure!