By: MakeWayDigital |Category: Online Shopping |Posted on: June 8th 2017
Experts predict that internet will become like electricity by 2025, a necessity rather than a luxary. So making your way digital becomes a requirement if you want to walk with the steps of today’s world and be updated.
Online shopping is no more rare now but it becomes very common and a usual thing amongst people. But still there are security concerns as financial part is always involved while shopping on the web.
If you remember in the last article Going to shop online? Great, keep these in mind we have discussed a little about online shopping security. Here we are going to explore the security concerns so that you are aware about the facts and myths and no one can cheat you while shopping online.
This has become one of the big businesses in the world these days and more and more people are going to purchase goods on the web that is why this has caught the attention of cybercriminals who are keen to exploit people shopping on the web. Thus it is very essential to be aware about online security while digital purchase of goods.
Let’s take a look on these to shop safely online.
Use Familiar Websites
You must have heard the names of online shopping sites like Flipkart, Amazon or Snapdeal from your friends and relatives or must have seen in advertisements on TV or news. These are well known online retailers because they provide good service and their policy, terms and conditions are transparent. You never hear anything negative or bad except one or two about them.
On the other hand fake or not trustable sites behave in a different manner. They may look like similar sites like flipkart.net or amazon.co.in instead of .com and may show you unbelievable deals that attract you to grab the offer instantly as is for limited period of time and limited stock (like 2 or 3 left). They may ask for your ATM/Debit Card PIN and other private information that is not required while shopping online.
For example they can offer you an i-Phone 7 in a very less price that is too less to believe. Thinking that it’s a great deal and should be grabed before it ends or stock lasts would not be a wise decision.
Always go to the online shopping sites which you already know or your friends and relatives suggest you about as they follow the guidelines and norms of the government.
Look for the Lock
We have already discussed about the SSL (Secure Socket Layer) with a lock icon on the address bar of the shopping website which starts with HTTPS (for example- https://www.flipkart.com) in the article Going to Shop Online? Great, Keep these in mind.
This certifies that your data like Debit/Credit Card Information, account number, password etc. are sent in encrypted format so that no one can steal your data and your information is safe.
Always shop on the websites which are Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).
Use Strong Passwords
People usually choose passwords which they can remember easily like their date of birth, mobile number, their name followed by numbers etc.
But today hackers are smarter and they can guess these passwords very easily. So it is very important to make a complex password but in a pattern so that you can remember it. Always choose a password with a combination of capitol and small letters, numbers and special characters and make it in a pattern so that you can remember it.
Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi/Hotspot
We usually go to malls, shopping complexes, restaurants, college campuses, air ports etc. and use their free Wi-Fi service as it is free. We just open our Wi-Fi on mobile, tablet or laptop and connect to the hotspot zone by entering their password not caring about the fact that a hacker can steal your information.
It is not so that you should not connect to the public hotspot zone, it is for our convenience.
Whenever you go to these places and you see there is a Wi-Fi network to connect, always go ahead and confirm at the reception counter/staff, is it their Wi-Fi zone? Once the person confirms and says it’s ours and you can use it then only go ahead and connect to it.
However we suggest whenever you shop on the web use your private network instead of using a public hotspot zone.
Do not provide unnecessary information
In case if an online retailer is asking for your Social Security Number (SSN)/Adhar Card Number (UID), logically think that what is the use of these info while shopping online.
If I provide my name, address (to send item to my location), phone number (to contact me to know my exact location or send me text about the status of delivery) or e-mail (to send me bills or status of delivery) then these are necessary info but what is the use for SSN/UID number or my date of birth? What would they do with it? This does not seem logical.
Beware of those online retailers as they are trying to get your passwords or ATM/Debit card PIN to harm you.
Use a payment method with buyer protection
Reputable online shopping websites always take payments with buyers’ protection.
For example if you make payment using a debit card, after entering all the details like debit card number, CVV code, type of card (mastercard, VISA etc.), and expiry date of the card, it must take you to your Bank’s payment site (For example State Bank of India payment site) and after that will ask for an OTP (One Time Password) sent on your registered mobile number or your ATM/Debit card PIN.
Remember, only provide the OTP or PIN in case you see this is your bank’s payment site.
Use Credit Card or Virtual Wallet instead a Debit Card
Always prefer to make payment using a credit card or virtual wallets (For example Phone Pe wallet with Flipkart) instead of debit card.
The reason behind this is your debit/atm card is directly linked to your bank account and in case something happens with your debit/atm card it will impact your valuable saved money in your bank account.
On the other hand Credit card is kind of loan given to you at the time of shopping and in virtual wallets you put a limited amount of money (You can add money to the payment wallet using your debit card) so here the risk is minimal. If something happens here still your money in bank account is safe.
Some banks also provide one time credit card number. This credit card number is one time use only and expires after use. You can check this one time credit card with your bank.
Shopping on your smart phone
It is convenient to use your smartphone to shop on the web as you carry your phone everywhere you go.
But the more convenient it’s the more security concerns are involved with it.
In case your phone is lost somehow or left somewhere like on your desk in office and someone accesses it. Your private information and secured data can be stolen and used to damage you. So it is important to keep your phone with multilayer security by doing simple things:
- Set a pattern or PIN to unlock your home screen
- Use the applications that separately lock your apps (like Facebook, Whatsapp, Messages, Contacts etc.) and choose a separate PIN for it.(For example Applock)
- Do not save your Credit/Debit Card number or PIN inside your phone.
- Always turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth after use as anyone can connect and grab your valuable info.
However in case you lost your phone and worrying to loose your secure information, don’t worry, you still have things using which you can protect your valuable data from getting into others hands.
If you are an i-Phone User go to www.support.apple.com/explore/find-my-iphone-ipad-mac-watch and check for i-cloud.
Android users can go to www.google.com/android/find.
Windows phone users need to go to www.windowsphone.com.
Check the Article How to protect info in your lost mobile phone.
Calculate the total cost
Suppose you purchased a product of 200 and delivery charges and taxes costing to 100 extra, then it is not wise to buy that product from the online retailer.
Always compare prices of the same product on different online stores and believe me in most of the cases you will see big differences in price. So don’t stick to your favorite retailer for everything.
Any questions if you have put it in comments, e-mail me or put it in the forum. I check it on a daily basis and I make you sure about the way to resolution.
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Thank you for reading.
In the next article we will discuss about How to protect info in your lost mobile phone?