The world is shrinking virtually and its residents are unknowingly entangled into a vast invisible network. In this unseen source of connectivity, the world has turned into a no-boundary market and the distance between customer and vendor has reduced to zero. They can filter their searches, choose favorite products and make payment while sitting on the couch. But living in a world run by Internet often leaves everyone vulnerable, whenever they go online. The rationality of this concept is accurate when we decide to shop online.
The cases of ‘Phishing’ and ‘Spoofing’ are widespread and therefore it is easy to get duped while shopping online. While you cannot entirely stop cybercrimes, but can take precautions to avoid victimization. Let’s take a look at the most common security mistakes that people make while buying something online and also how to avoid them.
1. Avoid Using Debit Card for Shopping Instead Use Credit Card
You must understand that the money used in credit card is of bank while you own the money of debit card. Also, if you fail to inform the bank about the misuse of debit card, you are liable for accruing nasty APR fees while the case is completely different for credit cards.
Credit card companies provide more security than banks. This doesn’t mean that you will use your credit card by compromising your security. It is advisable to use a virtual credit card, which randomly produces a new card number for each online transaction. Going with an online payment service, like PayPal is also recommended as they use hi-tech technology to store and transmit your banking information.
2. Avoid Saving Your Credit Card Information on a Retail Website
Do you understand the risk involved in leaving the card information on a retail website? Hackers can simply hack into your account with just a click and probably steal your money in a click too. So, avoid this temptation of saving the information to ease out your future transactions.
3. Shopping from the Gray Market
Whenever products are available at low cost in comparison to marketplace cost, that market is referred to as gray market. These website offers appear tempting as they deliver great discount and give considerable concession on online payment. But generally, the products delivered are of cheap quality and hence satisfaction level is low and booking an order online from such website can put the data of your cards at risk.
4. Never Open Retail Emails on Your Mobile Device
It is common to find promotional emails offering you some too good to miss bargains especially during holiday period. Resist yourself from falling into those phishing scams and do not open those messages even to check out the offers. The holiday season is the most attractive phase for cyber swindlers who would love to steal your personal data with a cleverly designed email.
They can replicate logos of famous companies and dodge their design work to fool you. Take some time to analyze the email and look for spelling and grammatical errors. Remember one thing that even if you have opened the email, clicking is forbidden. Instead, copy and paste each email link in a new browser window. This is a secure way to test the legitimacy of URL.
You can also try a trick to comprehend the scams. Just put your cursor (not click) on top of each link in the email, that will show you a URL. If this URL doesn’t match with the typed link, then most probably, the email is a phishing attempt and clicking should be avoided.
5. Use Mobile Antivirus Protection
Malware attacks are so widespread now that avoiding an antivirus protection program is considered as an offense. Make sure to secure your phone, tablet and PC with a security software before you start shopping. Use products that can scan apps and detect spyware and viruses easily. Your mobile antivirus must be competent enough to block shady websites, offers automatic updates and also provide lost-device protection.
To safeguard your smartphone from malware attack, you can use “Systweak Anti-Malware” App as one stop solution for all your security needs. It protects your device from online threats, scans your device efficiently and removes malicious applications. The software is equipped with advanced features that makes it a reliable security solution. You can download this app from here.
6. Regularly Update Your Browser App
Always use the latest version of any mobile browsers like Chrome, Safari, Firefox or Opera. They come with an added advantage of built-in security features and give malware at bay. Upgrading with the latest versions also removes bugs and check out for malicious links. The process is as simple as keeping up with your app notifications.
7. Download Mobile Apps from Trusted Websites
Mobile apps save your time, give direct and easy access to your account and are simple to use. Several established companies have created apps that are convenient and reachable. But when it comes to downloading app for your smartphone, keep few things in mind. Always use major marketplaces like Google play store, Amazon and iTunes to download the app. Many hackers can completely replicate the app and can easily fetch your card details. Therefore, read ratings, reviews and developer information to confirm the authenticity of the app. Never skip the scanning process for both previously installed apps and new ones too for spyware and viruses.
8. Stay Away from Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is the hub for hacking your personal information and card details. Any website that demands password to log in should be avoided if you are using public Wi-Fi. It’s better to stick to your house Wi-Fi or 3G/4G mobile network to access your sensitive information. Make sure you’re always on a WPA2-protected network with enabled encryption settings.
9. Detect Security Signs
Look out for transport layer security (TLS) or Secure sockets layer (SSL) signs on the websites you visit on your smartphone, which is exactly same for laptop or PC. SSL and TSL act as indicators and appear as a tiny padlock or an ‘https’ in the URL window. They inform you about the site that whether it will protect the transmission of your personal data or not. Smartphone screens are smaller than PC or tablets and therefore visibility of these signs is an issue. this signifies that always visit trusted online merchants on your smartphone by typing the URL into the address bar.
10. Measures to Be Taken When Online Shopping Goes Wrong
Well, prevention is always better than cure but in case, if any fraud has already taken place, the least you can do is to look for remedies. Contact customer services and report on the case without any delay. Whatever the circumstances, always ask for a document or an electronic mail from the organization for future verification. In case you have encountered any fraud company, first, contact your bank and then take some appropriate measures. Change your password or any personal information as soon as you smell something fishy.
Each of the security mistake mentioned above has the potential to destroy you financially and emotionally. You cannot give excuses by saying that nothing has happened before while you purchased something online. Yes, you have been lucky before but that doesn’t mean you will sleep at night with your doors and windows open and wait for the robbery to happen.
It is better to stay alert and safe and hence necessary to avoid these security mistakes that compromise your personal data and safety. All you have to do is to take precautions and follow these appropriate measures to enjoy your happy shopping hours. Please comment in the section below, if you have anything to share.