Online shopping is very common, but it’s still important to be vigilant. When you partake in unsafe online shopping practices, you can unknowingly open yourself to identity theft and other cyber attacks. This isn’t to say you should stop buying goods from your favorite websites. Many sites are perfectly safe and pose no dangers. Use these safety precautions to determine if it’s safe to buy from a new web domain.
Stay Away From Public Wi-Fi
First things first. Even if you have been a long-time customer of an online shop and know it’s safe, you should never complete purchases over public Wi-Fi. These networks use public airwaves and this means that anyone can find out what you’re looking at when you’re using these connections. This can include your email, passwords, internet history, and purchases. As a general rule of thumb, avoid logging into any sites — even those you trust — when you are on public Wi-Fi connections. This simple precaution can save you a lot of buyer’s remorse.
Read Reviews and Return Policies
Online shops sell just about everything. From animal feed to vape accessories, you can likely find a retailer for whatever you need without even leaving your couch. Just because someone is selling what you’re looking for, though, doesn’t mean you should immediately buy from them. With the vast variety of online shops comes a vast variety of sellers and policies. If you’re new to a specific site and aren’t sure if it’s trustworthy, be sure to read online reviews as well as the store’s return and refund policies. Reputable sellers will have this information readily available for you to learn about the company.
Use Secure Payment Methods
Even when you’re on a secured connection and shopping from a trusted retailer, it’s in your best interest to check out with a credit card. Credit cards usually offer the best in liability protection in case someone does manage to steal your information and make fraudulent purchases. If you link your bank account or debit card, money spent on unauthorized charges is nearly impossible to recover. When you pay with your credit card, you aren’t responsible for the charge while the company investigates its legitimacy. Protect yourself and your finances by always linking your credit card to online shops.
The web offers plenty of wonderful shops and curiosities to peruse from the comfort of your home. Use these cyber safety tips and shop responsibly for the best online purchasing experience.