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Staying safe while online shopping

Modern society is becoming more and more virtual thanks to the revolution of technology and online shopping is another industry that has grown to become very popular because of the internet. People are becoming influenced by convenience and no longer have any urge to go shopping at physical locations. Instead, people can shop without even having to leave their beds. You can purchase almost anything online including clothes, furniture, cosmetics, technology, and even food. This is a very great innovation however, with every bit of light there must be darkness. Online shopping means that you will now find scammers everywhere trying to steal money from people. When you participate in online shopping, you are required to share your personal details so this blog will offer some advice on how to remain safe while shopping online.

Do not use public Wi-Fi

The first tip, which is also one of the most important tips, is to never shop online when your device is connected to public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is an open space that is a breeding ground for hackers. When you are connected to public Wi-Fi, hackers can very easily position themselves in between you and the connection point and they can use unsecured Wi-Fi connections to spread malware which compromises your device and your personal information such as your banking details and passwords. Public Wi-Fi also makes it very easy for hackers to plant software that is infected onto your device so again, do not use public Wi-Fi when online shopping because you are running into the arms of hackers.

Look for reviews

The internet has made it easy for anyone to buy a product. But with that convenience also comes the responsibility of researching your purchase before you make an expensive mistake. You can do this by reading reviews from other customers who have already bought and used the item, as well as finding out if there are any recalls on the product or safety concerns. Reviews are important before making a purchase, but they also help you find the most convenient shipping method. Online shopping is not only about the product itself, but also about the package getting to you safely and on time. One way to make sure you get your items faster and cheaply is through a shipping service like MyUS. This shipping service has happy members all around the globe, and you can check out the shipping calculator for the UK right here. Online shopping is a great convenience, but only when you use the right methods, and reading reviews about products and shipping options is the way to go.  

Only buy from secure sites

Another tip is to only buy from secure sites and online retailers that have a reputable reputation. A secure site will have a lock icon next to the site name and the address will begin with HTTP. Many fraudulent sites also mimic real sites in an attempt to fool shoppers so when you are on a site, pay close attention to the spelling of the name in the URL as well as the design of the website. When you make a purchase at an online store, you are required to provide your personal details including your banking details and your address. This is why it is important to only buy from secure sites because this protects you from any potential scammers.

Use a VPN

A VPN or a Virtual Private Network, allows you to protect your network connection when you use public networks. VPN’s work by encrypting your internet traffic to hide your online identity which makes it difficult for third parties to steal your data and track your online activities. VPN’s are advertised to help secure you from third parties that include businesses, hackers, and even the government. This is the first line of protection that you should implement and it is very effective. The only “downside” is that this service is not free and you have to pay for the protection. You will find free VPNs however these are not recommended and can put your device at risk.

Use better passwords

A strong password works to keep hackers and cyber thieves out of your account that has all your private information stored. When you set a password, make sure that it is complex with both lower and uppercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Also, avoid making your password your personal information that can be easily guessed. Another tip is to never use the same password across all your accounts because if there is a data breach at one company, criminals could gain access to all your accounts. Lastly, if the site allows for 2- factor authentication, always make sure you enable it.

Beware of your emails

The final tip is to not fall for any email scams. Once you start shopping online, you might start to get emails and text messages informing you of amazing offers and bargains or making claims that there is a problem with package delivery. If you receive any suspicious emails, delete them instantly and do not open any links or attachments because doing so might infect your device and install viruses and other malware. 

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