Feature Image of Convenience vs. Security: Online Shopping Made Easy

Shopping online is the best. Why leave your house when you can purchase anything under the sun with the tap of a few buttons? Between Amazon, Target, Etsy, and shopping right in the Instagram app, almost anything is available, whether we need it or not. As wonderful as it is to have so much available right at our fingertips, it’s crucial to stay safe when shopping online. Here are a few tips and best practices you can keep in mind.

  1. Credit over debit. If your information is stolen, the criminal won’t have direct access to your bank account if you used your credit card. Credit card companies also tend to limit the amount you’re liable for, which is an added benefit. Learn more about the difference between debit and credit cards in our recent post.
  2. Utilize a password manager. Changing your passwords often is important to keeping your accounts secure. But it can be SO HARD to remember your password! A password manager generates and stores passwords securely for you. This keeps things locked down tightly and saves you the trouble of remembering all your passwords.
  3. Look for “https” in the site address. This means it’s a secure webpage (compared to websites that just begin with “http”) and will mask and transfer your data. There should be a locked padlock icon to the left of the URL. You can also check google to see if the site is flagged even if it does include the “s” in the webpage address.
  4. Shop the app. Even better than ensuring “https” is on the site, shop using a store’s app to limit web searches and site surfing.
  5. Don’t shop on public WiFi. Typically WiFi hotspots don’t encrypt your data, so if you’re entering your credit card info while shopping online in a public place, that could expose your data to strangers. Just wait until you get home
  6. Update your browser often. Each time a new browser update comes out, it’s usually low on your mental priority list to take care of the update, but just take a few minutes to do it. With each new version, security standards tend to get higher. Older browsers are more likely to have patchy security that can be exploited by hackers.
  7. Use a site like Fakespot to analyze reviews on sites like Amazon. They will assess whether reviews are genuine or paid for by the seller to boost their rating on Amazon. This will help you avoid buying bad products!
  8. .Review your statements. It’s easy to ignore credit card statements when they come in the mail or electronically, but take the time to review them. You may find a fraudulent charge that you’ll need to look into.

If you shop with these best practices in mind, you’re sure to be a bit safer than before. Happy shopping!

Categories: Budgeting