There’s no doubt that shopping online is one of the best things ever. You get to find exactly what you want, have it delivered right to your doorstep, and save a ton of money with coupons and discounts in the process. However, there are certain risks involved with online shopping that you need to be aware of in order to stay safe.
Here are four safety tips for shopping online.
Don’t Accept Cookies
Cookies are small pieces of data that websites store on your computer. They are generally used to improve your user experience by tracking your preferences.
Say you’re searching for presents for a relative in a memory care home on an online store. If you accept, the site will remember you so that every time you visit, it will show you relevant ads for products like Alzheimer’s disease books or adult diapers.
While this can be helpful, cookies can also be used to track your online activity. So if you’re not comfortable with websites storing cookies, don’t accept them, or disable them in your browser settings, and you should if you’re concerned about safety.
Make Sure the Website is Secure
When you’re shopping online, one of the most important things to look for is a secure website. An indication that a website is not secure is if the URL starts with just “http://” instead of “https://”. Also, watch out for a padlock icon next to the site’s URL.
These are both indicators that the website is using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt sensitive information like your credit card number and personal information.
Without SSL, this information could be intercepted by someone else and used for identity theft or fraud.
Use a Credit Card Not a Debit Card
If you’re going to be shopping online, it’s best to use a credit card instead of a debit card. Generally, credit cards offer more protection against fraud than debit cards.
Plus, if you use a credit card and your credit card information is stolen, you can report the theft to your credit card company and they will reverse any fraudulent charges. Most credit card companies have fraud protection policies that will reimburse you for any unauthorized charges.
For example, some sites might sell your email address or phone number to third-party marketers, while others will only use this information to contact you about your order.
If a shopping site means to do the former, go to another site.
These are just a few safety tips to keep in mind when shopping online. By following these tips, you can shop confidently and keep your personal information private from hackers.