The internet has redefined the shopping experience for millions. Broadband plans powered by Cox Gigablast have made shopping super-fast and convenient. Customers no longer need to leave the comfort of their homes to buy their favorite products.
Despite its tremendous advantages, online shopping faces great challenges from computer criminals. Online consumers are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. There’s no denying that. The good news is that you can avoid online shopping scams by following these four smart practices.
Do Not Shop Using Public WiFi Hotspots
Public WiFi hotspots have their benefits. There’s no arguing that. They are of great help when you don’t have WiFi or run out of data. For businesses, offering free WiFi can translate to customer loyalty and more sales. Brands that offer free WiFi are more likely to increase their online audience compared to brands that don’t provide free internet.
That doesn’t mean the public internet isn’t vulnerable to online security threats. Public WiFi hotspots make an easy target for computer criminals. Hackers frequently target public networks because it is easy to bypass security checks. Open WiFi networks often have little to no security in place. Be cautious whenever you use public WiFi hotspots.
Be Aware of Promotional Scams in Your Inbox
For starters, don’t click anything you see in your email right away. Hackers can make quick work of your email account. Make sure to set up additional security for your email account. You don’t want your email account to fall into bad hands, right? Brands and retailers may bombard you with promotional emails? That doesn’t mean you should open their messages and click on links right away. That’s a big no.
Always approach such emails with caution. Make sure to verify the sender’s address. Hackers often disguise themselves as retail brands. Do not fall for their trick. Faking identity is, perhaps, the oldest trick in their book. Go to the official website of a retailer to verify the email address. Also, never click on links that accompany email messages. Hackers can infect your system with viruses and malware if you click on unverified links.
Of course, promotional offers look tempting. Many shoppers will immediately click on links without verifying their authenticity. As a tech-savvy customer of this digital age, it is important to protect yourself from promotional scams. You can also avoid online scams by checking the spelling. These minor details come in handy when it comes to email scams.
Use a Password Manager
Online shopping can be frustrating, especially when signing up for a new website. On one hand, it is understandable, the seller wants to protect your data as much as you do. On the other hand, however, creating an account takes a lot of time and effort. A better way to avoid the signup process is to use your existing accounts.
In case you visit a new store, make sure to sign up as a guest account. This will prevent the site from storing your information. Moreover, you won’t have to create a new password for the site. But, not only websites have guest accounts for new users. You may use your socials, Apple or Google IDs to sign up. If the site wants you to create a new account, make sure to use a robust password.
It is advisable to use a password manager to protect your credentials. Password managers offer multiple benefits. They create robust passwords. Also, they store them for users to use in the future. Good password managers are crucial to the safety and security of your accounts. You can either use a dedicated password manager app or use the built-in extensions on your web browser.
Shop On Credit Card
You may have heard of this tip before, but it is important to repeat it. Do not use your debit card when shopping online. Why? Because debit cards are directly linked to your checking account. Computer criminals can hack into your account and steal money from your checking account using your debit card without you even knowing.
Credit cards can prevent online losses and fraud. They prevent hackers from immediately stealing money from your account. In case you fall victim to a scam, you’ll have the time to inform your bank; something that’s not possible with debit cards. Moreover, many credit cards offer protection against online scams.
The Way Forward
Hackers have become bold in their attempts to steal information from users. It is better to stay up to date on the latest data protection and safety methods. Computer criminals do not discriminate between companies and individuals. Stay informed, stay safe.