In today’s digital environment, many of our daily activities rely on the internet. From messages and calls with our friends and family, entertainment, and financial and work-related tasks are completed online. This indicates that a huge amount of data is continuously being shared over the internet. Nowadays the internet is mostly secure compared to some years ago, but still there is a high risk of intrusion by hackers and cybercriminals. Therefore, internet security is a top priority for us as individuals and for companies and for that reason we are sharing some tips to stay safe when shopping online.
Cybercrime is a growing problem for EU Member States, in most of which internet infrastructure is well developed and payment systems are online. According to the Webroot Threat Report 2021, almost 50% of business PCs and 53% of consumer PCs that got infected once were re-infected within the same year.
Despite the growing number of cyber-attacks, online security is more than ever present with various techniques and strategies to make the online environment safe and to help you stay safe when shopping online. And there is every reason in the world to continue shop online for both individual and business purposes and continue to contribute to a more global and connected world. Online shopping is very convenient and has never been easier, in some clicks you can access to any e-commerce shop or marketplace, typically the shipping is fast, you have a guarantee, you can simply return the products, compare prices and products whenever you want, all this in comfort of your house or office.
Check below some tips to stay safe when shopping online, that can be applied to both B2B and B2C shopping.
1. Make sure the website is secure
Secure websites are configured to mask the data you share, such as passwords or financial info. Shopping only on secure sites reduces the risk that your private information will be compromised while you shop. Before entering any personal or financial information, ensure the site is secured. The easiest way to check this, is looking to the URL. The website URL should start with “https”, rather than “http”, also it should have a lock icon that indicates that the website is using SSL encryption.
2. Don’t use public Wi-Fi
Make sure the internet connection you’re using is secure. Don’t use public Wi-Fi in coffee shops, shopping centers and other places. Often the public Wi-Fi is unsecure, and someone with bad intent could access your data through this open network. It’s better to use your mobile internet than public Wi-Fi.
3. Research about the website and company
Every time you want to start using a website you haven’t used before, google it, check if they have social media, read reviews, comments, check if there are customer support contacts, basically do the homework before the purchase to make sure they are legitimate.
4. Know your rights and the company’s returns policy.
5. Create unique and strong passwords for each website
Don’t use the same password for every online shop you register. Imagine the situation where your login information gets stolen on one website, all your other accounts where you are using the same password will get compromised. Always choose strong passwords for your online accounts, use combinations of upper case, lower case, number, and special characters. Avoid dictionary words, or personal information that can be easily find or guess, like your kid’s birthday, your dog’s name or name of your mother.
In conclusion, the online shopping doesn’t have to be dangerous, as I mentioned before there are several techniques and strategies to make the online environment safe. By following the tips mentioned in this article your data will be more protected and your online transactions more safe and secure.