The eCommerce industry has surprisingly blown up in the last year. Credit goes to a COVID-19 pandemic situation! Maximum people are now turning to online shops to make a convenient purchase. Also, there’s no business left that has not marked their presence online by developing a website. It’s crucial for every startup, whether it focuses on an eCommerce store or not, to build a secure online shopping experience.
Due to Coronavirus, global eCommerce traffic had surged by 35% in 2020, and the sales are expected to grow approximately $6.54 trillion by 2022.
A big number! Right?
But why is online shopping so popular?
Online shopping is becoming a trend because of many attractive factors that make online platforms ideal for shopping. It includes – fast deliveries, competitive pricing, various products, friendly experiences, and easy returns. Online shopping has emerged as a helping hand, supporting millions of buyers to sell their products online. It also provides an ease to people worldwide to buy daily essentials & other things online.
But, how do you know which websites you can rely on for online shopping? Are you sure while making transactions online, you are not at risk? Is your data secured?
Here we are with the blog describing the tips that will help you make your shopping experience safe and easy to answer all your queries.
11 Important Tips to Make Online Shopping Experience Secure
You might not have pickpockets around but have cybercriminals worldwide who are just waiting for any loophole to crack your data. While shopping online, make sure you spend a reasonable amount of time on the website to ensure it’s not spam or malicious. Therefore, to secure your financial and personal data, here are the top eleven tips to follow:
1. Look Out for the Green Lock & HTTPS URLs
Most of the users usually ignore the green padlock in URLs as they are unaware of their importance. So, the first and the most important tip is to check the green lock while shopping online. It is available on the left side of the web address. Do not enter your card details unless you find the padlock.
Missing padlock means the website is not SSL certified, where the web URL will start with HTTP instead of HTTPS. Here the ‘S’ is for security, which means that the communication or data sharing between you and your browser is encrypted. This way, the credential information such as credit card details will remain safe, and you can shop online without any fear of fraud or hacking.
2. Prefer Using Credit Card
Yes, that’s true! A high percentage of people around the world prefer using a debit card for online shopping. But if you ask us, we recommend using a credit card. It is a safer and smarter option for online shopping payments.
But why choose credit cards when you have a debit card option?
Credit cards offer protection for purchases as they limit the liability if your access data or card is stolen. It makes them a better alternative than debit cards. On the other hand, debit cards are linked to a bank account, which has a high possibility of getting hacked. In short, you are putting yourself at risk while making online payments via debit cards.
3. Know Your Merchant/Store Well
If you already know the store or merchant, then it is a bonus point as you can visit the nearby store or contact them online for support. But what about if you don’t know about them? Then, you need to take a few precautions to lead a safe online shopping experience. Saying clearly, then you must conduct a background check with the following-
- Visiting their website to check the portfolio of a store/merchant
- Reviewing customers or clients’ feedback/testimonial
- Check what’s the Google rating of the store
- Check out their social media presence and audience engagement
- Contact their customer support for a full inquiry like return or exchange policy or payment mode before purchasing.
Note: If you find no helpful information with the above inquiry, do not hesitate to quit the store.
4. Stop Revealing Personal Data
Another supportive tip for shopping online securely is not to reveal an excessive amount of personal data. For example, if you plan to purchase something from a store, it will need your Mastercard number or PIN, birthday, or any other detail. It might be risky at your end. The moment you enter your details. It reaches the online scammers’ data too. Then can then use your data for buying, selling, or any other way of exchanging money. There is a possibility that the site’s security might get breached. Thus, be careful, build trust first with the store, and then proceed.
5. Avoid Offers that Looks Too Good To Be True
‘All that glitters is not gold.”
If any online store’s offer looks too good to be true, it doesn’t mean they’re genuine. Offers and discounts attract the audience and are considered one of the best marketing tactics to attract customers’ eyeballs. But if we talk about the customer’s perspective, one must be careful. Try not to be webbed into the promises of online shopping companies that offer too much at a low price. There are chances that you are being trapped and something is fishy. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind-
- If the price is too low, double-check whether the merchant is offering legal services.
- Check whether the product price matches the product image.
- Do compare prices of the product on Google or with other stores to know whether they are offering the genuine price or not.
6. Read Terms & Conditions
Before buying anything online, go through the terms and conditions of the website. It will help you know more about the website offerings, their services, delivery options, and the terms and conditions applied over it. Read the terms and conditions to understand whether you can purchase from the store without jumping through any hoops. Such a small step from your side can save you from several unseen risks. Consider this practice, especially when you are buying a gifting card.
7. Use a Strong Password
The stronger the password is, the more secure your data is. Therefore, while logging into any online store, ensure you spend some time setting the password. It will keep cybercriminals away from your accounts to reach where you store private information.
Here are a few guidelines on how to choose a strong password;
- Either use complex upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols; or, consider long passphrases that you can memorise and are hard for others to guess.
- Avoid passwords with personal details like kid’s or anyone close’s name, birth date, or favourite thing that any hacker could guess easily.
- Avoid using the same password on all other sites. If you do, then stop doing that because a data breach at one place could give hackers access to other accounts as well.
When someone gets access to your password, then your account is at high risk because of frequent login, changing passwords, shipping address, or entering other stuff affecting you financially. So, it is essential to keep your account safe with a strong password.
8. Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Have you ever done shopping on public wi-fi? Or repeatedly do that? Then, we advise you to stop that. Who knows, while shopping and sipping a cup of coffee or having supper, someone sitting there is hacking your details.
Free public wi-fi might seem convenient, but shopping online might put you in big trouble. But why is it considered an unsafe option? The majority of wi-fi hotspots do not encrypt the information you send over the network. Shopping online is a dangerous option where you need to enter your credential details.
On this open network, hackers can easily access your information, including your credit card details, email, phone numbers, and much more. If you want to shop online, prefer doing it at home with your home internet or else if you are out, prefer using your mobile data. Nowadays, the rise in public data hacking increases the risk of data leakage. So, it is good to stay safe, avoiding online shopping on public wi-fi.
It is good to invest in an unlimited data plan to keep your sensitive data or information safe. A little investment can be better than immense suffering.
9. Keep Your Software Virus Protected & Up-to-Date
Yes, keeping your software virus protected and up-to-date is a must. Whether you use a phone, tablet, or laptop for online shopping, it is good to have the latest security software on your device. It will give complete malware protection to your device. The installation of such security software is not enough. Make sure that it automatically updates daily to run smoothly. There is a lot of software and virus protection available in the market. You can choose the one that you find perfect for your device. Checkout several blogs on the best antivirus software. You can also check out the online videos of tech experts and follow their recommendations for antivirus software.
10. Always Review Your Bank Statements
Thanks to advanced technology, you can consistently monitor your bank activities and statements with just a few taps. All you need is to install the web application. Check your monthly/weekly transactions, credit/debit card details via electronic statements. This way, you can keep an eye on irregularities or any extra charges that might get deduct. If any dire situation occurs and your account is being hacked, file a report to the bank and trace the crook ASAP. Ask for assistance on how you can bolt your account and stay away from any incident like this.
11. Leverage Anti-Malware Tools
When it comes to securing online shopping with maximum protection, ensure that your anti-malware tool is up-to-date. All you need is to install antivirus software in your computer system. Always watch out for your update and scan the pop-up that appears on the antivirus program as it is for your good. Some security sites offer insurance against phishing assaults from sites, phishing spam, and scams.
Having a clear view, Phishing is very risky and the most common cyber threat for online shoppers. It copies a legit website by creating malicious URLs spread via email or direct messages to you pretending to reward. Then, it lets you log in by using your username and passwords. It, further, gives them access to credit/debit cards, bank details, visas, PayPal, and much more.
Don’t let any cybercriminal access your sensitive data!
Online shopping has emerged as a great practice that is transforming lives by making it more accessible. But most of the good things come with the risk and challenges. Therefore, we have curated this blog post listing the tips that will help you – eliminate cybercriminals, not become a target in the first place, and have a safe online shopping experience.
Still, have doubts? Need a broad explanation on this? Get in touch with us to guide you on acquiring a safe and robust online shopping experience.