Dangers of Online Shopping: Online shopping has made finding the ideal gift for a loved one or a sneaky treat for yourself a lot easier. But be sure you’re not putting yourself in danger before going on an internet-buying binge. Although there are no pickpockets in cyberspace, there are still many reasons to keep your personal and financial details protected. Read on to learn about the dangers of online shopping and how to stay protected today.
The Dangers of Online Shopping
1. Identity Theft
Identity theft is one of the most common concerns of online shoppers. Identify theft is when criminals get access to your personal information and use it to make transactions.
There are many ways that identity theft can take place, such as phishing. Phishing is carried out by clicking emails that seem to be real but aren’t. These emails seem to be from a financial institution or an online retailer, and they ask for personal information to correct an order or account issue.
2. Fraudulent Websites
Some websites ask you to join their mailing list and don’t allow you to unsubscribe. Some people sell your email address to others, resulting in a flood of advertisements in your inbox. If a website doesn’t provide enough accurate product descriptions, or you can’t figure out how to buy, return or contact customer support, it could be a fraudulent website. This is a big danger of online shopping.
3. Credit Card Theft
Another major danger of online shopping is credit card theft. This happens when an individual intercepts online retailers in the payment stage. Customers are sent to the fraudulent user’s site rather than the legal payment gateway. Customers are often shocked since the page looks just like the gateway of the site they were using.
How to Stay Protected When Online Shopping
1. Use a Card with Fraud Protection
When you’re online shopping, use a credit card that includes fraud protection. If you use a debit card and your personal details are stolen, the hacker will have complete control over your bank account. Alternatively, research whether your bank provides reloadable prepaid credit cards or short-term credit cards so that they can expire after use. Either way, it’s important to keep track of all your purchases and constantly review your accounts for unusual activity.
2. Only Buy from Reputable, Trustworthy Websites
For the most part, Amazon and all of the main merchant websites are safe to use. Make sure any site you purchase from has “https” in the address bar rather than “http,” as well as a padlock symbol to indicate security. If you go to an unknown site to make a purchase, look up the site name plus the phrase “security” on the internet to see what comes up.
3. Make Sure You’re Using a Secure Internet Connection
Avoid making transactions over public WiFi since people may hijack your connection and access your data. If you really need to connect to public WiFi, use a VPN, which extends a private network over the public one.