More people than ever are deciding to shop online (over 76% of American adults shop online now.). As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage through the United States, online shopping has become a lifeline for many people with health problems and at high risk.
Now, even as stores have reopened, online shopping remains strong. One survey has found that 36% of adults are buying online, which is even higher than the 29% in mid-April when there was a national shutdown.
However, risks still remain with online shopping. This article will cover five different online shopping safety tips you should be aware of before clicking that “buy now” button.
Keeping reading to learn more:
1. Secure Payment Methods
Once your cart is full and you’re ready to check out, try to use a secure payment method. Credit card safety online starts with looking into paying through PayPal or a credit card, not your debit card or an online check. Paying this way can help reduce the odds of a fraudulent charge appearing later on your account.
Also, many sites will ask if you want to store your credit card information after you’ve put in your details. While this saves you time on future purchases, it also means that if that company suffers a data breach, your information is now in the hands of a hacker. Of all our online shopping tips, this one should always be at the forefront of your mind.
2. Use Secure Websites
Before you purchase from a site, make sure that it is secure. There should be a padlock symbol ahead of the URL. There should also be a “https://” code in front of the website URL. These two indicators mean that the site is secure and that data is encrypted on the website.
This Christian clothing site has the padlock symbol that lets you know it’s secure.
3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
If you’re out and about and using public Wi-Fi, online safety starts with not shopping via public access. Anyone with a little tech know-how and access to the public Wi-Fi password can intercept your information.
This means they could get access to your emails, your passwords, and more.
4. Keep a Strong Password
While it can be a hassle, you should be changing your password at least once a year. A strong password will have seven characters that are a combination of upper and lowercase letters. It should also include numbers and symbols.
5. Keep an Antivirus Program
You should never venture online without a robust antivirus program installed. You should also make sure the program is turned on and kept updated. Having an antivirus program in place can make the difference between your computer contracting a virus and preventing infection.
Online Shopping Safety Tips and You
Follow these online shopping safety tips and you’ll be fast on your way to ensuring your information is stolen. While shopping online provides much-needed convenience for consumers, it’s not without its perils.
Keeping vigilance for unsafe sites and keeping tabs on your information will go a long way in preventing any issues from occurring.
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