E-Commerce isn't new any longer. About 60% of internet users claim to shop online regularly. And in a few years, almost every internet user will be an avid shopper right from their phones, tablets, and computers. By now, we should have wised up about the right way to shop online and keep ourselves safe from fraud. But the truth is rather surprising! Online fraud is increasing each year in spite of all the security algorithms and certifications on websites – primarily because the user is lulled into giving away their financial information. Banks keep sending us newsletters, there are literally thousands of websites dedicated to online safety, but yet every other day we hear of someone falling prey to online predators! In this article, we've put together 6 of the most crucial tips to keep yourself safe online. Read on, and practice!
Secure Websites –Buy online only from sites which are security certified. The easiest way of finding out if the site you are on is secure is to look for the lock logo beside the URL (where you type in the name of the website). Also, the URL should change from http:// to https:// once you enter your login credentials. The ‘S' at the end stands for secure.
Identity – The internet makes it quite easy for fakers to masquerade as something they're not. If you're buying something online, make sure the site has a contactable address, a phone number, and other identifying information prominently displayed on the site. If there is no way to directly contact the vendor, don't buy from them!
Look for reputation –If you are buying from a site for the first time, check for its reputation. Just Google the site and you'll see if there are complaints on it. Large stores have their own customer service and we are often safe transacting with them. It is the smaller ones we should be worried about, and reputation will help you decide whether they are ok to shop with.
Hide your card details – Services like PayPal allow you to mask your credit card information from websites. Most sites have PayPal as a payment alternative, and you can pay with your card via PayPal instead of entering the credit card information directly on the website. Alternatively, you can get a virtual credit card exclusively for transacting online and the charges will be appended to your main credit card bill.
Phishing filters –Modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox allow users to install add-ons which prevent phishing attacks and keep the user safe. Consider activating one of them based on the reviews on your browser's add-on store.