How to Stay Safe While Shopping Online

Online shopping is a convenient, quick, easy, and sometimes more affordable way to buy almost anything from the comfort of your home. And while there are some risks with shopping online such as viruses, scams, and stolen account credentials, there are also ways to protect yourself and your financial information. 

While the risks may seem somewhat alarming, they shouldn’t keep you from shopping online. To help you feel more confident, we have outlined some basic guidelines that you can refer to when you’re planning on making your next online purchase.

Try to Use Familiar Websites

The first step to staying safe while shopping online is to shop from a trusted company and site that you are familiar with. Search results can be rigged to lead you astray, especially when you drift past the first few pages of links. If you know the site, chances are it’s less likely to be a rip-off. In addition, pay extra attention to misspellings or sites using a different top-level domain (.net instead of .com, for example).

Look for the Lock

Another thing to look out for is the lock to the left of the URL search bar. Never buy anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS instead of just HTTP. Today, most search engines will flag any page without the S as “not secure.”

Don’t Overshare

Remember that online retailers don’t need more than your name, credit card information, and shipping address. If you come across a site asking for your social security number or even your birthday, that should be a red flag to exit the site. If hackers get ahold of that information along with your credit card number, they can do a lot of damage. When possible, try to give as little information as possible when shopping online.

Create Strong Passwords

Passwords are the first line of defense against unauthorized access to your computer and personal information. The stronger your password, the more protected your computer will be from hackers and malicious software. You should make sure to maintain strong passwords for all accounts on your computer to protect yourself during online shopping.

Check Statements Regularly

Finally, we recommend checking the electronic statements for your credit card, debit card, and checking accounts regularly rather than simply waiting for your bill to come at the end of the month. This will help you pick up on any issues sooner rather than later.

Millions of people use electronic commerce safely and effectively every day. However, as you can see, there are some serious risks if you are not taking the necessary precautions. If you end up in a situation where a hacker gets a hold of your information, undoing the damage can take years and cost thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s essential to be smart when online shopping and make yourself a stricter target so that hackers are less likely to steal your data. Using a secure internet connection like Bascom Communications is one way to protect yourself.

About Bascom Communications

Bascom Communications offers high-quality telephone service, Fiber TV, Accelerate high-speed Internet access, security and personal home safety, Ethernet transport, and wireless Internet with LTE—along with many other services—to make your communications experience enjoyable, easy, and affordable. We continue to broaden our profile and reach to offer the most to our customers now and into the future.