Safety tips and measures to take when shopping online

January 9th, 2017

With online commerce taking up bigger shares of the entire retail in the US, the risk of web based fraud is increasing as well.  Unfortunately, the tendency of possible thieves lurking in your bank accounts and shopping is increasing, but so is the feeling of comfort and safety which more users are feeling when shopping online. In fact, Experian’s Holiday Shopping Survey shows that a massive 23% of the people surveyed were willing to risk becoming victims of identity theft in the name of an attractive Cyber Monday deal, for example. 46% claimed that they felt safe and were not concerned about identity theft during the holiday shopping season.


mobile shopping or cashback apps


Experts claim that holidays are the riskiest times for possible online fraud, along with tax season when a number of data breaches can occur. The reason is that the volumes of holiday shopping are huge.  They warn users to be able to resist tempting but risky offers, because even if you get a great deal, the long-term ramification of having your identity and bank information stolen can be really serious.


Here are some ways in which you can help stay away from such risks when shopping:

  • Use a credit card for your online shopping. The reason is that if your bank account gets stolen, real money can be stolen and tampered with, while with credit cards, the bank will possibly cover fraud.
  • Beware of new websites as well as sites which appear from sponsored posts on Facebook. Of course, they are not all non-secure, but just keep in mind that not every link from reputable social media should be trusted.
  • It is a good idea to check out other people’s reviews of new retail websites and new mobile shopping apps. The quickest way to do it, according to the Better Business Bureau is to do a quick Internet search of the name of the site or app with the words “scam” or “fraud” with it.
  • Make sure that the website begins with an https and not just http. The “s” in the URL means more security.
  • Take the time to read the privacy policy of the retailer before signing up for discounts. Many use cookies, tracking data, or even malware can be installed. Make sure you always have reliable and up to date virus and malware protection.
  • Stay away from the public Wi-Fi in stores, because they are not secure at all.
  • If you use a digital wallet and mobile shopping and payment apps for shopping, make sure that your phone or other mobile device is password protected. Using a digital wallet could be a wise choice if you do a lot of online shopping, because they have an additional layer of protection and use unique coding for each person and phone. This makes it easier to trace all kinds of transactions.
  • Before throwing away your receipts, shred them or otherwise destroy them because they can contain your name, partial credit card details, your address and other information you wouldn’t want stolen.
  • Make sure you view your bank and credit card transactions at least once a week, so that you notice if there is any weird and unaccounted for transactions in time.
  • Make sure you download mobile shopping or cashback apps from reliable retailers and developers, and do some Internet search before downloading and installing a new shopping app or browser extension.

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