With the new Black Friday or White Friday or Blessed Friday or whatever else Friday sales going around, a lot of people will be looking at online shopping websites these days. Since these websites often have some of the best deals around, many Pakistanis now prefer waiting for the sale season and doing their shopping online. I mean, when you can get everything you could ever want at the click of a button, the whole world becomes your very own department store.
However, online shopping isn’t always as easy as it sounds. With so many people now choosing to shop online, especially around the holidays, the market has increased beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. More sales occur online than ever before, which means, people with bad intentions have a bigger opportunity to take advantage of all the personal data going around. But, that does not mean that you have to give up online shopping. No, that just means you have to be more careful while enjoying the perks of shopping from home. Just as you would be careful while walking around a mall with a wallet full of cash.
So make sure to follow the tips we have laid down for you to stay safe this shopping season.
Check for Valid Encryption Certificate
Make sure the website you are using is secure and that it possesses a valid encryption certificate. How can you check that? By looking for a lock icon before the website’s address in the address bar. If the website is secure to use, the lock icon will be green and locked, which is often guaranteed by a known organization such as Symantec Corporation. If a website lacks this green, locked icon, then the security level of the website is not high and should be avoided.
The best way to avoid insecure websites is to use a website you are familiar with and other people have vouched for. Or, you can use websites for reputable stores to decrease the likelihood of running into security issues.
Keep Your System Secure
You need to make sure that not only the website you’re using is secure, but that your system is secure too. For that, you should ensure the most recent security and system update and patches are installed on the device you are using.
Another way to ensure your computer or device is secure is by installing a reputable and efficient anti-virus software, such as AVG, Norton, Avast, or others. You can either choose the free versions for basic protection or you can buy the complete program for full protection.
Get Ad-Block Plugins
Then, you can also install an ad-block plugin in your browser to add an extra level of security to your shopping experience. These plug-ins help keep the risks of viruses and spyware to a minimum, by blocking all dangerous ads usually present on online shopping websites.
If an ad or link bypasses the ad-block plugin, make it a habit to never click on any unfamiliar links. Whether these links are on a website you’re using to shop online, or in an email you received, do not click them unless they are from a source you trust.
Be Careful While Using Credit Cards
If you plan to shop online regularly, it is preferable if you don’t use a credit card that is linked directly to your personal bank account(s), including BitCoin and PayPal.
Make sure you always monitor your credit through a third-party source before and after transactions. Check the credit periodically if you shop online a lot.
Set up SMS and Email alerts for your credit card through the credit card company, so you can be notified of all your card’s activities. You can set up the terms and details of the notifications by discussing it with your company.
Keep Your Private Information Secure
When checking out after an online shopping trip, make sure that you do no answer any privacy or security questions. These are not required by any website, for any purpose. The only details you should provide while checking out are your Name, Address, and Phone Number.
Use Trusted Networks
Only use trusted networks on your computer or device when shopping online. If you are using a WiFi connection, make sure it is secure. You can check that by ensuring the connection requires a password to use it. If it doesn’t, then it means that your traffic can easily be monitored and stolen by outsiders.
Use Strong Passwords
Use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. You should choose passwords that others can’t guess, but that you can remember so you don’t need to write them down anywhere.
If offered, always use two-factor verification and authentication.
Be Careful of Scams
Be careful of scam offers around the holidays, for example, coupons for getting a free product on a purchase of another product. Some of these deals may be authentic, but if a deal is giving away a free iPhone, then it’s definitely too good to be true.
Always Go For Apps
If a store has a mobile app, such as Daraz, use the app to do your shopping instead of using the website since apps are harder to hack and misuse. Moreover, they often have more sales and discounts compared to the website and are likely to be easier to use.
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