Shopping online can be a wonderful experience. Getting almost anything with the click of a button is something that feels natural, and many people enjoy it. However, there are invisible threats that you might not be aware of. As you browse online retailers, there is a chance there are others watching everything you do and will not hesitate to steal your information if you get careless. Here are three mistakes people often make when shopping online and what to do about it.
Not Shopping Around
Before you spend your hard-earned money on the first item that grabs your attention, you must do some research. Look at different online stores, compare prices, and then decide. Don’t accept the first offer. Always look around before committing to a purchase. Google shopping, for example, is a powerful tool that searches for online retailers and compares their prices. Of course, paying attention to coupons and the possibility of free shipping can make any deal even sweeter. Once the price issue is out of the way, store rating and return policy should be next on your priority list. Study them, and you will be able to make a well-informed shopping decision.
Connecting to Unknown Networks
You should always twice before using a public or unknown network to shop online. Unlike the network at your home, public networks are not encrypted, and hackers can see the sites you are browsing and the information you are typing. Moreover, infected devices that may be connected to the network might jeopardize your shopping with viruses and other threats. It’s best to avoid using public or unknown connections if you want to prevent identity theft. If you have to do it, at least have a VPN or virtual private network to make you less visible to hackers. There are more security practices to know, but at the very least, everyone should know about network connections.
Using a Debit Card
Debit cards are not as safe as you might think. When shopping online, thieves may get access to your card information, and you could find yourself without money in the blink of an eye. Even if you spot the theft, it might be too late when you report it. Credit cards are the way to go when online shopping. They enjoy more protection than debit cards as you can call providers and keep your money until the matter has been settled.
There is no doubt that shopping online has made everyone’s life more comfortable, and while you can get almost anything you want with ease, you shouldn’t forget that you can mess up the same way. As long as you shop around, connect to safe networks and use a low limit credit card to purchase the items you want, your shopping experience will be safer and more rewarding. Don’t slip up, or you might end up paying more than you could afford.