The 14 Best Tips For Safe Online Shopping

November 1st · 7 min read

The 14 Best Tips For Safe Online Shopping

As the number of eCommerce sites grows each day, more and more people are shopping online due to its convenience, choices, prices, and simplicity. However, since shopping online is accessible to everyone, there are people with bad intentions that try to trick people into giving them their personal information such as credit card details. In this article, we are going to cover 14 tips you can use today to ensure safe online shopping. Let’s get started.

1. Install browser protection software

Browsing protection tools are the first line of defense when shopping online against malware, phishing, and identity theft. Installing browser protection software such as Guardio allows you to browse the internet safely.

Guardio is a browser extension that works in the background and it will…

  • Actively protect your browser and scan every site, page, and service you visit, and block the ones it identifies as malicious.

  • Automatically detect and remove extensions that risk your personal information, install adware, or change your browser settings.

  • Enjoy a clean browsing experience, and ensure that no intrusive notifications will invade your browser.

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  • When there are data breaches on the internet that may put your privacy at risk, Guardio will send you a notification so that you can quickly take action and prevent identity theft.

  • When an extension or some other form of malware tries to redirect your searches, Guardio will block it and point you to the right search engine.

If you want to shop online safely and not worry about malware, phishing attacks, and identity theft, give Guardio a try.

2. Shop with reputable websites only

There are many websites across the internet so shop at the ones you know will take good care of you. To give you a frame of reference look for the following:

  • Website reviews: If the website has been around for a while, there are going to be people talking about the business. Just google “website name” reviews (without the quote marks) and see what people are saying about the business.

  • SSL certificate: An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates a website’s identity and allows for an encrypted connection between you and the website you are shopping at. You can easily identify these websites by looking at the left side of the address bar, it should say, “https” instead of “http” and have a little green lock next to it.

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  • Customer/Client reviews: Look at the current customer reviews and look for other people’s experiences. Did they have any problems? Or did everything go well and they didn’t have any issues?

3. Make sure you are on the right website

A lot of phishing websites emulate the original website to try to get you to submit your personal information. After that, they would be able to hold your account for ramson or get access to your personal information.

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4. Be careful of amazing deals

It’s rare but there are people who publish amazing deals on reputable websites like Amazon and eBay. When someone buys it and receives their package, they realize they’ve gotten a rock. They’ve been scammed.

When you find an amazing deal, look at the seller’s reputation and make a purchasing decision based on that.

  • Are they a new seller?

  • Do they have enough quality customer reviews? (more than just, “great seller”)

Additionally, if you start receiving emails with amazing deals you didn’t request, avoid clicking any links. Go to the website by typing the website’s address in the search bar (or search it on Google) and look for the product there.

5. Guard your personal information

Be careful of the personal information you give websites, no shopping platform should ever ask you your social security number so think carefully about what information you submit. Just provide reputable sellers with the minimum personal information necessary in order to complete your purchase.

6. Use strong passwords

Many people store credit card information on their account so it’s important to have a strong password, that way, hackers won’t be able to easily brute force their way into your account.

Additionally, if someone happens to have one of your passwords, they won’t be able to use it to get access to the rest of your accounts.

Use password managers such as LastPass, 1Password, and Google Passwords to automatically create secure passwords and save them in a secure digital safe.

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7. Use common sense

Were you expecting to receive the message? For example, if you just bought something online and you receive a message from your bank asking you if you were the one who made the purchase is a good indication of a legitimate message.

However, if you haven’t bought anything and they are asking you to confirm the purchase, it’s most likely an ongoing phishing scam. In such a case, contact your bank and tell them what happened so they can take action and cancel any transactions you don’t recognize.

8. Use a VPN

Use a VPN to encrypt your online activity. A VPN creates a secure tunnel between you and the website where you are shopping, providing a safe online shopping experience. Additionally, by using a VPN you could get access to cheaper prices and discounts.

9. Use a credit card to pay

Once you decide to purchase something, credit cards are generally your safest option. Banks have systems in place to make sure they are able to block transactions you don’t recognize and keep your transactions safe.

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Also, nowadays most banks give you the ability to have a digital credit card with a NIP that changes every 30 seconds or so, thus making it more secure than traditional credit cards with static NIPs.

10. Use an online wallet or payment service to pay

If you don’t have access to a credit card with a digital card, an online wallet will be your second best option. Services like PayPal and Google Wallet offer people the ability to pay merchants online while keeping their credit card details safe.

Additionally, digital wallets often have secure transaction systems in place to prevent fraud so if you don’t recognize a transaction, you can request it to be blocked and to get your money back.

An alternative to digital wallets is payment services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, VISA checkout, and MasterCard master pass.

*Important: The fewer places that have access to your credit card details the better. That way your credit card information will be kept in one place rather than across many different websites.

11. Avoid clicking links on emails

There are many scam emails going being sent every day so always visit the website you want to buy from by either typing the address in the search bar or Googling it.

12. Use biometrics to approve payments

Take advantage of security features on your phone like biometrics to approve transactions and add an extra layer of protection. If you have the ability to use touch ID, face ID, or another form of authentication to keep your information secure before you pay, use it.

13. Avoid public Wi-Fi

Avoid using public Wi-Fi or public computers to shop online. If you use public Wi-Fi, your online activity could be accessible to other people within the same network, instead, it’s better to use your phone’s data. Having said that, if you must use public Wi-Fi, then use a VPN to encrypt your online activity.

14. Update your operating system and internet browser

A lot of the malware exploits vulnerabilities that exist within the software we use so making sure your computer’s operating system and internet browser are up to date is essential.

Summary

As the number of eCommerce sites grows each day, more and more people are shopping online due to its convenience, choices, prices, and simplicity.

However, since shopping online is accessible to everyone, there are people with bad intentions that try to trick people into giving them their personal information such as credit card details.

To ensure you have a safe online shopping experience do the following:

  1. Install browser protection software to add an extra layer of security. The tool we recommend is Guardio.

  2. Only shop with reputable websites.

  3. Check you are on the right site (a lot of phishing websites emulate reputable businesses to trick people into submitting their personal information to steal it and abuse it).

  4. Guard your personal information and only provide businesses the necessary information in order for them to fulfill your order.

  5. Use strong passwords on all the websites you visit (and a different password per website). Use password managers such as LastPass, 1Password, and Google Passwords to automatically create secure passwords and save them in a secure digital safe.

  6. Use a VPN to create a secure tunnel between you and the website you are shopping at.

  7. Use a digital credit card to pay.

  8. If you don’t have a digital credit card, use an online wallet or payment service to keep your credit card information in one place rather than across many different websites.

  9. Take advantage of security features on your phone like biometrics to approve transactions and add an extra layer of protection.

  10. Avoid using public Wi-Fi or public computers to shop online.

  11. A lot of the malware exploits vulnerabilities that exist within the software we use so update your computer’s operating system and internet browser.

  12. Be careful of amazing deals and don’t click them on emails. Instead, visit the website by typing the address in the search bar or googling it.

We hope you found this information useful. If you have any questions about safe online shopping, malware, or how Guardio can help you stay safe online, we’re more than happy to talk and assist. You can contact us at yourfriends@guard.io. Safe Browsing!

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