Shopping online is convenient than having to move from one store to another. You don’t have to endure long traffic then go on and wait in the queue to be served. As you shop online, you need to be cautious and follow the right online shopping security guidelines.
You may wonder, is shopping online safe? When out there shopping online, you need to be cautious as there is a high risk that you might become a victim of cyber-attack or encounter fraudulent online shop owners.
Many cybercriminals target online shoppers and some end up stealing their confidential information. Online shopping is not 100% safe and you
should be aware of the possible online shopping security threats. The common security risks you should be aware of as you shop online include;
Malicious websites contain pop-up ads that advertise some amazing promotions. If you click any of these ads, they will ask you to share some sensitive data. In some instances, your device may as well be infected with dangerous malware or spyware.
Unfortunately, you might be exposed to malware even if you are visiting a legitimate website too. Some hackers are so good that they might exploit some vulnerable websites and inject malicious ads.
Some cybercriminals set up fake online shops where they play tricks to users and end up running away with their money. Others gain access to customers’ sensitive data and try to exploit them of their hard-earned money.
These online criminals usually try to imitate legitimate online retailers but will steal the data you provide. For instance, they will steal your credit card details and your personal information.
Most of these websites will receive payments from users but the products they advertise don’t exist. You might buy something that you will never receive. You might receive what you ordered but end up getting an empty box.
Having your identity stolen is another key security risk associated with online shopping. Cybercriminals try hard to steal personal identifiable information from shoppers.
Once hackers get hold of your data, they may start either to auction it or use the information to scam innocent customers. Identity theft mostly occurs on fake websites even though sometimes legit online shoppers can be invaded by hackers and suffer a data breach.
A website that does not use SSL encryption can expose shoppers to the hands of fraudulent hackers. For instance, if you come across a website that starts with HTTP instead of HTTPS is a big online shopping security risk.
The information you will share on these shopping stores is not encrypted. Hence, it’s easy for hackers to monitor what shoppers are doing.
A data breach occurs when a cybercriminal gets unauthorized access to a website either through malware or exploiting vulnerable customers. Data breaches can cause an online business a lot of damage. The most affected are customers whose personal information may fall into the hands of cybercriminals.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR SHOPPING ONLINE
USE POWERFUL ANTIVIRUS
There is always a high risk your device might be infected with viruses if you shop online. To be on the safe side, you need to have a reliable antivirus installed in your desktop laptop or other devices you use to shop online to protect your data.
The antimalware you use will prevent you from accidentally accessing malicious websites. There are plenty of antivirus providers out there, and you should get the best antivirus and protect your device.
KEEP YOUR SECURITY SOFTWARE UP-TO-DATE
You should regularly update your device to make sure any security weakness and exploits are detected so you don’t endanger your device when shopping online. Update your security software regularly and be able to detect any new threats.
USE VPN (VIRTUAL PRIVATE NETWORK)
A VPN helps protect your privacy and data on the website. You can hide your IP address and it uses encryption to protect your online traffic as well as protect your data against unnecessary surveillance. With a VPN, you will not be exposed to unsecured Wi-Fi, and so you can even shop online using public Wi-Fi without any worries.
USE POWERFUL PASSWORDS
You can shop online without any security worries if you use strong passwords. You will make it hard for hackers to guess or crack your passwords. They will not use your accounts to steal from other people data. Use multiple words with different characters and space the characters. You can as well mix up lowercase and uppercase letters to secure your password.
TO SUM UP
Shopping online is fun and a great experience, but you have to make sure you can spot fake websites. You should also not share more information than necessary. As you shop online, it’s wise to avoid the idea of using debit cards. You don’t want hackers or cybercriminals to steal your data and end up inflicting unbearable financial damage.
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