Shopping online is one of the easiest and most convenient way to compare prices and buy with ease without stressing yourself. All transaction can be made from a comfort zone.
Online shopping with all it’s benefits has also a bad side. “Cyber crime”! The risk of internet scam also increased but there are measures to curb or stop such people from hacking into your account.
How to tell if a website is secure?
To shop online or buy on a website (e-commerce), check out out for the following to know if you are shopping safely. Note” it simply tells you that the website is secure, not the seller”.
1. Padlock symbol – The website address area has a padlock in the address bar next to the website address.
2. Website address – This is when the url protocol starts with https://. The S stands for secure as seen in the image above.
3. Green address bar – On certain browsers and websites the address bar will turn green.
4. Valid certificate – When you click the padlock symbol or just to the left of the address bar, Certain information about the site will be on the site certificate. This should tell you who has registered the site. If you get a warning about a certificate, avoid the website.
You may Read: 9 Factors to consider before buying a laptop
Here are some guides researched and working to ensure you have a secure online experience.
1. Watch out for website pharming scams
This is a situation where by a particular website is cloned and made to look like the original website. Shopping on such platform is dangerous as when you enter your bank or card details, they get it and use it against you.
You should also be aware of pharming scams, where fraudsters attack the website you are trying to use.
Be on the lookout for strange looking web addresses with a selection of numbers or a different spelling.
2. Never use the same password for different accounts
Make it a good practice to use different passwords for different online accounts. Do not use your email names or name as passwords as it becomes too easy for hackers to prey on you.
Also, do not use numbers like 123456… as passwords. try to use combination of words, numbers and symbols if possible for your password. Endeavor to use different passwords for different accounts so as to be protected and secured during your online shopping.
If you use same password for all your accounts, you only set yourself up for disaster as it will be an easy victory for cyber-criminals to hack your information.
If they succeed in getting any of your accounts, the you are in serious trouble. Hence, you have to see to it that you have at least more than one unique passwords and write them in a secure place.
3. Avoid using public Wi-Fi when shopping online
Never use your bank details when shopping online using a public wi-fi as it is not secured. A lot of internet hotspots (Wi-fi) do not encrypt data, thus making things easy for hackers to steal your personal information.
Ensure you use a protected network when you are shopping online. Don’t use public Wi-Fi like in coffee shops as some do in Lekki, shopping centers and other places when shopping online. Use internet banking or anything secured to send personal information.
4. Choose HTTPS over HTTP
When you are shopping online, ensure to go for the https sites as they have an extra added layer of security. It means they have the ssl that means Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) that encrypts (converts) your personal information so you’ll be the only one to see them.
You can identify this with the lock sign on the corner of the web address box of your browser. In the case of a http, it is usually an open lock unlike the https.
5. Credit cards vs Debit cards
Debit cards deduct money directly from your bank account. Credit cards offer better consumer protection through warranties and fraud protection, but are costlier.
Newer debit cards offer more credit–card-like protection, while many credit cards no longer charge annual fees. Both can be used for shopping online.
We can make use of both credit and debit cards to make payments online. But there is need for safe shopping when using these cards. You need to know which is more safer.
You need to know more on debit cards or credit cards, their similarities and differences.
The difference between debit and credit cards is that a debit card has a Visa® or Mastercard® logo on its face. When you use a debit card, the money is deducted from your checking account. While a credit card, you’re borrowing money to be repaid later.
Credit cards give you access to a line of debt issued by a bank. Debit cards deduct money directly from your bank account.
Credit cards offer better consumer protection through warranties and fraud protection, but are costlier.
Debit cards offer less protection, but they have lower fees.
Newer debit cards offer more credit-card-like protection, while many credit cards no longer charge annual fees.
6. Update your browser / Anti-virus
Ensure to update your browser so as to get a boost in security. Older browsers, besides not working as well with some websites, often have holes in their security that hackers have discovered and can exploit.
Do the same for your operating system and anti-virus software. Updates will keep you ahead of would-be identity thieves and keep your credit safe.
If the website seems to have an odd URL or shows numerous random pop-ups, maybe you should just forget about it and look somewhere else. Always remember that it is more important to be safe than sorry.
More so, it is adviceable to trust your own judgement and instincts when shopping on certain sites. When you notice certain things following some of the points mentioned here, just log out and clear out your browsing cache. Do not dwell on shopping from sites that seem to be illegitimate.