Online shopping has become a convenient and popular way to buy things. However, there are also some common pitfalls that you should be aware of so don’t get scammed. Here are some of the most common online shopping mistakes and how to avoid getting scammed and hacked.
Online Shopping Mistakes to Avoid
Mistake 1: Online Shopping in Public WiFi Networks
If you can avoid it, don’t buy anything while you are logged into a public WiFi network such as at a hotel, coffee shop or other public places. This can be risky, as public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured and vulnerable to hackers, who can intercept your data, steal your personal and financial information, or infect your device with malware.
How to Avoid Being Hacked
The best way to avoid having your data hacked in public WiFi networks is to wait until you get home before you shop online.
However, if you do need to shop online when using public Wi-Fi, use a VPN. A VPN (virtual private network) service can create a secure and encrypted connection between your device and the internet, which can prevent hackers from accessing your data or tracking your online activity.
Use antivirus software. Antivirus software can protect your device from viruses, malware, spyware, and other threats that may harm your device or compromise your data. Make sure your antivirus software is up to date and scan your device regularly.
Mistake 2: Online Shopping with a Debit Card
Don’t shop online with a debit card, use your credit card. Online shopping with debit cards will make you vulnerable to being hacked because debit cards have less fraud protection and the data is linked to your bank account.
How to Avoid Being Scammed
Never use your debit card to buy things online. Use your credit card. If you don’t want to use your credit card, then use an online payment service such as PayPal, which acts as a middleman and keeps your card information hidden.
Mistake 3: Online Shopping on Unsecured Websites
Don’t buy anything on unsecured websites, your data will be easily intercepted when shopping on unsecured websites.
How to Tell if a Website is Secure or Not
The easiest way to tell if a website is secure or not is to look at the URL address bar. If you see the padlock icon and “https” in the address bar, then it is a secure website. Remember, it needs an ‘s’ after the http to be secure. Https stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure. If you see the padlock icon and “https” that means the website is encrypted and verified.
Mistake 4: Using Weak Passwords
Avoid creating weak passwords online. Accounts with weak passwords are easily hacked.
How to Create Strong Passwords
Don’t use obvious personal information as your password, such as your last name, your birthday, your house number, your birth year. Don’t use common words such as “mypassword” as your password!
Create a complex password for each online account, and change it regularly. Use a combination of letters, numbers, symbols, and cases.
Don’t use the same password for all your accounts! Make a unique password for every account.
You can also use a password manager, which can generate and store your passwords securely.
Mistake 5: Not Using Apple Pay
If you have an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac, you should use Apple Pay to shop online safely and conveniently. Apple Pay is a secure and easy way to pay with your Apple device, without sharing your card details with the seller or the website.
Benefits of Using Apple Pay
Using Apple Pay comes with many benefits such as faster checkout without revealing personal information. With Apple Pay, you can pay with just a glance or a touch, without entering your card number, billing address, or security code.
There is also more protection with Apple Pay. You can use Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode to authenticate your payment, which can prevent unauthorized transactions. Apple Pay also uses a device-specific number and a unique transaction code, which can protect your card information from being stolen or compromised.
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