The internet is a great place, provided that we know how to navigate it. It is no longer the very scary place that it used to be in the early 2000s when people got access to the internet and there were so many exploits that people were unaware of.
Today, people know better and even if they don’t, their browsers and even operating systems tend to give warnings that should signal the correct course of action.
Online shopping is not without its dangers. The most common danger is that people might get their credentials stolen and lose money. Here is how to protect yourself while shopping online.
Visit Only Trusted Sites
This should be the general rule when doing anything on the internet. Stay away from untrusted sites. Sites which are not encrypted will have a little lock which will either be crossed out or unlocked, or both. Sites with encryption will have a lock and their URL will start with https.
Even if this is not obvious, one should always strive to find a review of a site before they try shopping on the said site. Reviews should point to a site which has flaws. Sites like Amazon, Steam and similar large sites should be great. That does not mean that the product will be great.
Use a VPN
VPN stands for virtual private network and is another layer of protection which a hacker would have to get through. Using a VPN is simple, you connect to a server of your choice, in a country of your choice and you are thereby protected from interference. Your connection appears to be coming from the country of choice. This is perfect when shopping on sites you don’t really trust or if you simply want to have an extra layer of protection atop of an already almost impossible to hack SHA-256 encryption which most sites use.
Pay on Delivery
This is a simple and effective way of keeping your credit card information private. If the service you are purchasing from is local, then you can select to pay on delivery, meaning that you won’t have to type in your credit card information. This is an effective way of removing the paying part from the internet, making your shopping that much safer. This will not work on some sites, but it should for the majority of local dealers.
There are ways to stay safe when online shopping, starting from using safe, secure and trusted sites. VPNs are another layer of protection, while paying on delivery omits your credit card data from the internet. Lastly, not shopping online is the best way of staying safe when shopping. Purchasing something and having a good walk is also a good idea.