With the ease of online shopping, it’s not a surprise that it has quickly become the preferred way for individuals to complete holiday shopping, purchase groceries, update their wardrobe, and more. But with the increase in online purchase comes an increase in online purchase scams that can expose your identity and drain your wallet.
Keep your identity and money safe while still taking advantage of the ease of online shopping with these tips.
Ship to a Secure Location
The increase in online shopping has led to an increase in home deliveries and package thieves. If no one will be home when your package is expected to be delivered, consider shipping it to a secure location such as an office.
If delivering your package to an office isn’t possible, UPS, Amazon, and FedEx now have secure shipping lockers you can have your items delivered to in order to ensure they are delivered securely.
Shop within Official Retailer Apps and Websites
Most retailers now have official apps, making it easier than ever to shop straight from your phone. To protect your information, make sure to only utilize these official apps through reputable stores such as Galaxy Apps, the App Store, Amazon App Store, and Google Play.
Don’t Save Your Credit Card Information on Your Accounts
Storing your personal and payment information on your retailer accounts is easy and convenient but it comes with a risk. If a hacker gets into your retailer accounts, having your personal information and payment information linked to your account makes it easier than ever for them to make fraudulent purchases.
Not all retailer websites are equipped to storing your personal information securely, leaving your information vulnerable to cyberthieves and data breaches.
Consider Using Apple Pay or Google Pay
Credit Card fraud is a serious issue but by utilizing Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, or other digital wallet apps, you can add a second layer of protection to your purchases.
Digital wallets obscure payment information and create a one-time code that the merchant sees when a transaction goes through and the code is only good for that purchase. If a retail employee or hacker gets their hands on this information, they won’t be able to see any of your bank or card details.
Don’t Make a Purchase Through Unfamiliar Retailers
Online retail stores are popping up constantly and with constant advertising on social media, it can be difficult to tell whether the business and inventory are legit. To play it safe, ask around and look for reviews before making a purchase from an unfamiliar retailer.
Don’t Make Purchases on Public Wi-Fi
It might be tempting to make purchases while getting work done at your local coffee shop, but these public Wi-Fi networks use public airwaves, making it easy for hackers to intercept the data you send and receive.
Utilize the Extra Security of a VPN
If you know you’ll be making purchases while on a public Wi-Fi network, consider installing and using a virtual private network (VPN) on your mobile device and computer before connecting to a public network.
The VPN will create an encrypted connection between your mobile phone, computer, and the server.
Use Strong Passwords and a Password Manager
If someone gets ahold of your passwords, they can log into your retailer accounts and make fraudulent purchases. When creating passwords for these accounts, avoid using common words, names of family members or pets, or your own name or birthday.
The following tips will help you create a strong password:
- Use at least eight characters that are a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Don’t use easy to guess personal information.
- Don’t use the same password on multiple accounts. If there is a data breach or someone figures out your password to one account, they will be able to access other accounts you have set up.
- Utilize a password manager to generate and store your passwords.
Check Security Policies on the Retailers Website
Websites that ask for passwords or financial passwords should be secure and have an SSL Certificate installed. You can check to see if a website is secure by looking in the browser corner for the lock or “https” before the URL.
If you only see “http,” the website is not secure and there is no privacy protection attention to the pages of the website. If you are planning on making a purchase through an unsecured website, be cautious.
Pay with a Credit Card
Most credit card companies in the United States offer the best liability protection when you use their credit cards. If someone uses your credit card to make unauthorized purchases, you won’t have to pay the bill while the credit card company investigates the charges.
If you utilized a debit card for online shopping and have unauthorized charges made on it, the liability is capped at $50 (whereas credit card liability is $0).
After Making an Online Purchase, Keep Your Receipts & Keep an Eye on Your Accounts
Always keep an extra close eye on your bank accounts following an online transaction. The quicker you notice a fraudulent charge, the quicker it can be taken care of.
Home Security System Installation in Pembroke, Marshfield & Plymouth, MA
If you do a lot of online shopping, keeping your deliveries safe is as easy as upgrading your home security! Contact Basco Security today for an estimate on camera and alarm installation as well as remote monitoring. Basco Security can be reached by calling 781-294-4166 or by filling out our online contact form.