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6 Tips for Safer Online Shopping

Posted: November 18, 2019

Online shopping is no longer simply a convenience—it’s part of everyday life. Did you know that 83% of US consumers made a purchase on Amazon in the last six months? But, as online shopping continues to become more prevalent, so do security concerns. According to data collected by Big Commerce:

  • approximately three-quarters of consumers believe that retailers collect addresses, emails, and phone numbers.
  • seven out of 10 customers would opt out of sharing personal data even if it meant they could no longer receive special offers.
  • more than half of consumers believe that browsing history data is being collected by online retailers.

Don’t worry. No one is suggesting that you refrain from frequenting your favorite sites or that you stop scouring Amazon in search of the best deals. Instead, help keep your personal data protected with our safe online shopping tips.

1. Do your homework before shopping online.

One of the best safe online shopping tips is a little good ol’ fashioned research. Perform a simple web search for the company and take note of reviews from consumers. Look around the company’s website for information. Also, check third-party sites for additional intel, such as the Better Business Bureau and Yelp. If people have been scammed out of money, you’ll figure it out without too much digging. Be wary of perfect reviews and feedback that doesn’t seem genuine. Trust your gut on what you see before placing your order.

  1. Protect that password.

Take extra steps to help protect your passwords. Believe it or not, many people make easy targets of themselves by simply being careless with passwords. Here are a few safe online shopping tips when it comes to passwords:

  • Create a strong password using random caps, numbers, and special characters.
  • The more random, the better. Avoid using info that can easily be guessed or found, such as birthdays and kids names.
  • Keep them safe. Don’t leave your password post-it noted under your keyboard or next to your desk.
  • Vary passwords for different sites. If one is discovered, you won’t have to worry that ALL your info is compromised.
  • Use a password manager, such as LastPass. Many apps are available to help you safely juggle all your various passwords and keep them safe from prying eyes. 
  1. Keep your private info…well, private.

Avoid using public or unprotected Wi-Fi networks to make purchases. Other people using the same network can intercept your info. If you must access public Wi-Fi to make a purchase, use a virtual private network (VPN) to safeguard your info.

2. Look for the lockdown.

Literally. Secure sites use SSL (secure socket layer) to keep your info protected. SSL is a standard security protocol that encrypts your info. You can identify these sites by the URL. Sites that utilize SSL will begin with “HTTPS” instead of only “HTTP.” One additional indication will be the appearance of a lock that appears in the address bar next to the website. If you see that, you know the site is using additional security to safeguard your info.

3. Watch those statements.

Keep a close watch on statements and monitor for any unauthorized charges. If anything sketchy catches your eye, report it to your bank or credit card company immediately. And don’t wait for statements to show up. Be proactive and examine spending frequently.

4. Opt for a secure payment method.

Services such as PayPal and Google Pay are designed specifically to process financial information. These third-party services often provide additional purchase protection for customers, making them a safer option when shopping online.

Keep these online safe shopping tips in mind as you browse around and the only worry you’ll have is to keep your own spending in check. Also, remember to take extra steps so that those packages arrive safely on in your hands with our package theft prevention tips