Technology has enabled consumers to access products and services from any corner of the world. With a few clicks of the button, you can place orders via eCommerce sites and have orders shipped to your doorstep. However, the ease and convenience of online transactions have opened up the world of cybercrime, with shoppers running the risk of phishing scams and data breaches each time they enter their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on any website. So what can you do to protect your data? How can you stay secure from hackers when shopping online? Check out these simple tips and safeguard your interests.
Every single website of all the millions out there has a unique URL. Scrutinize the site address and look for the lock symbol. On clicking this icon, you can view the eCommerce store’s security certificate along with information about when it was issued and its expiry date. You can also check for how the site sends cookies to your device, along with a choice of Cookie Settings. Yet another reliable way to check if the site is safe is to run the URL through a link-checking tool. These apps are free to use, and simply by copy-pasting the URL, you can analyze if the website is legit.
When shopping at eCommerce stores, you’ll note that there are hundreds of apps out there. Before downloading and installing a shopping or online betting app for cricket, you might want to verify its authenticity. Although the app looks completely credible with a smart interface and typical features, it could have hidden malware and spyware that give hackers access to your personal data on the device. Reputable stores like Google Play and Apple Play have programs to deter cybercrime, but doing your due diligence is always preferable. Confirm the number of downloads the app has and read up reviews to learn more about users’ experiences.
Reading user reviews gives you in-depth insights into how the eCommerce store performs. You’ll get information about the products, if the delivered product is exactly as advertised, and whether it is good value for money. Check for shoppers’ views on shipping and return issues, and if they have had problems with making payments or getting refunds. Look out for potential red flags like leaked data and credit card information. On the flip side, phony sites will likely have a bunch of fake rave reviews to attract new customers. To counter this risk, you can rely on independent review sites for honest opinions.
When signing up at an eCommerce store, make sure you choose robust passwords and enable the two-factor authentication protocol. Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and refrain from using the same password across multiple sites. You’ll also look for SSL encryption certification and use a third-party payment processor. That will allow you to track payments and offer an added layer of protection while keeping your information secure and hard to decipher. Also, delete your card information after the transaction.
We live in a highly interconnected world that has opened up a multitude of avenues for hackers and cybercriminals to steal your information. Use these tips to stay secure and continue shopping at eCommerce stores.