'Tis the season for online shopping and while wildly convenient, comes with the potential for bigger problems than fighting crowds at the mall. That said, a few simple steps can make your online shopping experience safe and easy.
Use a protected form of payment like PayPal or a credit card. If someone is able to gain access to your financial information, PayPal and credit card companies offer consumer protection to get money back into your hands. PayPal will also cover purchases from shady vendors who take your money but never ship a product and allows you to bypass any daily spending limits your debit card may have. Using your debit card leaves your bank account vulnerable to attack and can take much longer to get any money back, if your financial institution offers buyer protection.
Alternatively, purchase a pre-paid MasterCard or Visa that doesn't have your personal information connected to it. If a hacker does manage to get your card information, they won't have access to anything more than the dollar amount left on the card.
Verify website security before entering your personal information. Check for the padlock at the start of the URL in the address bar and an https:// before the web address. These indicators only exist if a website has an added layer of security to encrypt your personal data. If you don't see these two things, don't spend your money there.
Only shop on a secure connection. Public wifi and hot spots aren't considered secure and can leave your device open to attack, including any personal and financial information you input. Either install VPN software or wait until you're on a private network you trust.
Don't store personal information on websites. Amazon and several other retailers offer to 'remember' your credit card information for easier future shopping. While convenient, data breaches have happened and can happen again.
Online shopping is easy and convenient, but taking precautions against fraud and theft are just as important as keeping money and cards tucked away in public.
Want to ensure your online store is a safe place for shoppers? Contact us a for a quote for consultation or website security review and implementation service.
Have a safe and merry holiday season!