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How to Protect Your Data When Shopping Online?

24 January 2022 | 0 comments | Posted by Mark Bingham in Shopaholics

data protection options for online shoppers

Online shopping has become one of the most popular ways to purchase gifts, clothes, home décor, and even groceries. It's quick, simple, and convenient. You don't have to leave your home, and you can get everything you need to be delivered to your doors. There is no public transport, walking in the rain, or waiting in lines – there's just some clicking. However, shopping online isn't as ideal as it seems.

There are many ways for your data to be mistreated. Fortunately, online security just keeps improving, and you can reduce this risk to the minimum. Here is how to shop online without worrying about your data and personal information.

Create strong passwords

The first thing to keep your personal information safe is a good password. You should never pick something obvious for a password. Your name, the name of your significant other or a kid, a birthday or the year you were born are all bad ideas. Anything that could be guessed or found on your social media won't make for a strong password.

A strong password is long, and it has a variety of characters and numbers. People will usually have one strong password and use it for every account they have. This is a terrible practice, as it will make it way too simple to steal your data. If you find it difficult to remember all these different passwords, you could always make an offline list of every account and password.

Don't shop on public Wi-Fi.

Many things can put your online experience at risk, and shopping on public Wi-Fi is one of them. There are several ways hackers use to steal your information when you use public Wi-Fi. A man-in-the-middle attack, fake Wi-Fi connectors, packet sniffing, sidejacking, and shoulder-surfing are the most popular ways to do so.

Since they are poorly secured, public Wi-Fi networks will make you an easy target for this type of cybercrime. You should avoid logging into your accounts altogether when on these networks. You shouldn't enter your card information either. When connecting on a new network, make sure that the host is legitimate, as some networks could be designed to be malicious.

Shop on trustworthy websites

Another way to stay safe is to watch where you're shopping. If possible, you should always shop from large reputable brands. You should never go to third-party websites. You can always do a little research on a brand to see whether it's trustworthy or not.

This is great if you haven't heard of the website before – look for some reviews and opinions online. You should know how to recognize businesses that are safe to shop from online. Try to use familiar websites, and research online will help you do so quickly.

You may also want to do purchases with local businesses or eCommerce sites with a local footprint so you can reach out to local branches should you have any issues, you can check by reviewing their NAP data or local SEO data to find out where they are based or the distribution centres they use in your region. 

Security icons will also make the distinction between safe and unsafe websites. For instance, SSL locks on a website will be a definite sign that your information is protected.

Try to avoid scams.

Avoiding scams is a pretty obvious thing to do, right?

Well, it isn't as easy and simple as it might sound. Internet scams have become very sophisticated, and detecting them isn't always a piece of cake. That is why you should always be vigilant when shopping online! Sometimes, a good deal could be something malicious!

For instance, one of the most frequent scams is email scams. That is why you should always do your research before clicking and agreeing to anything. Make sure not to click links, download attachments, or share information with unknown parties, especially if they come through email.

Use credit

Your personal information can be stolen when you're paying online. When it comes to cards, credit cards are undoubtedly the best way to pay online. They are so good because they provide a minimum of information about the bank.

Thanks to this, they have built-in protection.

As there is no information transferred, there is nothing to be stolen. On the other hand, debit cards aren't as effective for shopping online safely. Balances and account numbers can be exposed with these cards, so avoid them whenever you can.

Use security products

Finally, you can use different products to stay safe while making an online purchase. The most popular such product is a VPN. Virtual private networks are there to ensure that you are connected to the safest internet network available. They will also protect your valuable information.

IP address and location of your device are shielded thanks to a VPN, which makes you anonymous online and keeps your information protected. Other options are browser add-ons and software for fighting viruses. These will all keep you safe from hackers and any other form of cybercrime that could hurt you.

Conclusion

Even though there are many threats while making an online purchase, you shouldn't worry too much about them. All you have to do is follow these tips, and you can keep ordering whatever you need. As long as your information is protected, you'll have a positive online shopping experience!

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have a little extra time to dive deeper down the rabbit hole, why not check out the following posts about eCommerce.

Tags: Online Shopping, Guest Post

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