Important Tips for Online Shopping
Instead of rushing to the malls and getting caught up in the queues and the parking frenzy, many people prefer to shop online. Sadly, there are cybercriminals out there just waiting to pounce with their carefully designed phishing scams to ensure that the cash flows their way. They exist everywhere you turn, from fake mobile apps and phony websites, posing as real businesses, to emails, pretending to be your package’s shipping info.
To ensure a safe online shopping experience, you must be vigilant and have your wits about you so as not to fall into the trap of enticement.
1: Always go “official” to rule out the Phishers
Only download apps from official app stores. And, for websites: always type the URL yourself in the address bar so you know you are on the official page. You’ll also notice that most, if not all official sites, use https to ensure an encrypted connection between you and them.
2: Compare prices. Price Check is a good platform to use for this purpose.
Before you checkout, open a new tab and look up that same item in other stores to see if the price is similar. If you haven’t heard of the brand before, look up comparable products by leading brands to see if the prices are similar. If your item is drastically lower than the others, you need to wonder why. If a deal is too good to be true, it probably is one to avoid. Don’t get hooked by extremely low prices. Throwing away a small amount of money is still not acceptable when it lands in someone else’s pocket by way of theft.
3: Stay anonymous – Use a VPN
Make sure to use an encrypted connection that hides your IP address and keeps online predators from seeing any personal data about you, which prevents them from profiling you. Your login credentials, your banking details, and your identity stay protected.
4: Do not store payment info
As you visit site after site, and especially as you make purchase after purchase, you will be swarmed with requests to open new accounts and save your credit card info. It is best to deny these requests. You want to share, save, and store as little personal info as possible on the internet. Always protect yourself as being safe is better than being sorry. One can’t be too cautious.
Remember that its easy to get caught in the excitement of online shopping when using a credit card. Especially when more and more deals pop up to entice you. When shopping with plastic, one easily forgets the feeling of hard cash leaving one’s pocket until the statement arrives at the end of the month.