Taking advantage of online retail stores is possibly one of the most convenient ways to do your shopping. Not only can you save yourself time and find great deals, but you can also shop from the comfort of your own home... or anywhere you are! However, as convenient as online shopping may be, there are still some risks involved. Identity theft and credit card fraud are two dangers in the online shopping world that consumers need to be cautious of.
Follow these 6 tips for staying safe while shopping online:
- Protect Your Devices—Make sure that you have installed the most up-to-date anti-virus software on all of your devices. Having the most recent software will greatly decrease the threat of a computer virus.
- Use Your Own Device to Shop—If you're shopping online, use your own computer or device. If you're using a public device you have no control over the malware protection, or lack thereof that the device may have installed or who has access to the network the computer is logged onto.
- Shop from Well-Known Websites—If you can, do your online shopping from websites that you already know are safe. If you know the site or people that have used the site then chances are it's a legitimate website.
- Confirm That You Are Shopping from a Secure Site—Shop on sites that have an SSL (secure sockets layer) installed. You can verify that an SSL is embedded on the site by looking in the URL name... If the site begins with, HTTPS:// instead of just HTTP:// then you can feel at ease knowing that you are shopping on a secure network.
- Use Strong Passwords—Create a strong password for your online shopping accounts. Typically a strong password will include an uppercase letter, lowercase letters, at least one number and symbol, and at least seven characters long. Having a strong password for your accounts can help reduce the likelihood of someone gaining access to your account.
- Keep an Eye on Your Bank Statements—Checking your bank statements from time to time through Mobile or Internet Banking will help you to stay on top of your finances and allow you to catch any fraudulent charge before it becomes a bigger issue. If you do happen to notice a fraudulent charge, be sure to address the situation right away. Call your bank or card issuer and notify them of the matter immediately.