Coronavirus continues to affect business and consumers. We were already shopping online before, but now for our safety, we are increasingly purchasing necessities online.
While shopping online can be safer for our physical health at the moment, we’ve put together 8 quick tips to protect your digital health while making purchases online.
- Shop Trusted Sites
Consider only doing online business with companies you know and trust. Amazon, Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy – these are all reputable and established sources for purchasing goods online. When visiting online shops, beware of misspellings in the domain name or sites that use .net instead of .com for example. Hackers can setup spoofed sites that mirror reputable sites and attempt to trick you into giving them your personal information.
- Look for the Lock
Never input your information or credit card data into a site that does not have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed – at the very least. You can tell if a site has SSL when the website URL starts with HTTPS – instead of just HTTP. Typically, a lock looking icon will show in your browser’s web address bar to indicate the site has SSL.
- Create Strong Passwords
Stop using your weak @$$ passwords! We preach this often but it’s critical when banking and shopping online. Check out our 8 Tips to Make Your Passwords as Strong as Possible.
- Skip the Debit Card
If your debit card gets compromised, scammers can get direct access to your bank funds. When shopping online, it’s best to stick to credit cards or payment services like Paypal. Credit cards offer more protection and less liability if a card number gets stolen.
- Regularly Check Your Credit Card Statement
Don’t wait for the bill to come to check your credit card statement. If you’re making regular purchases online, monitor your activity for any fraudulent charges. And if you do see something wrong, address it immediately. You only have a short window to notify your card issuer on issues, and don’t want to have any additional charges continue to come through.
- Shop on Updated, Protected Devices
Protect yourself against malware and attacks by shopping on devices with updated software - both operating system and antivirus program. And it’s not enough to just have antivirus installed, you need to ensure your security tools are up to date. Check out our Essentials Security Package.
- Shop on Private Wi-Fi or Utilize a VPN on Public Networks
Hackers love free wi-fi even more than you do! While public wireless networks provide great convenience, allowing people to connect to the Internet from almost anywhere, they are unsecure and can allow cyber criminals access to your Internet-enabled devices. It’s best to shop from private, secured networks, but if you must shop while on a public network you should use a virtual private network (VPN) to be safe.
- Trust Your Gut
If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
President/CEO, D.E. Web Works