How to Stay Safe When Shopping Online?

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The growing popularity of online shopping has led to an increase in the activity of cybercriminals, whose targets are gullible customers. In order to shop successfully online without becoming a victim of cybercriminals or online scammers, you need to take some precautions.

How to make online shopping safer

We present a few tips for online shopping from experts.

Perform Internet searches safely

Although search engines are very useful for finding products, customer reviews and comparing prices, users unintentionally put themselves at risk when they click on links in search results that may lead to an infected site. These search results are created by cybercriminals who use search engine optimization to spoof search engine rankings (SEO) - known as Black SEO - to include malicious links. Antivirus tools can help prevent links to infected sites and clicks to malicious websites.

Type the URL in the address bar

Instead of using a link to go to an online shopping site, it's safer to manually type the URL into your web browser's address bar. While somewhat inconvenient, this simple action can help prevent you from visiting a fake or malicious website.

Get a temporary credit card

Some credit card companies give their customers a temporary credit card number. Temporary numbers can be useful for one-time purchases. However, they should not be used for purchases that require automatic renewal or regular payments.

Use a separate computer for banking and online purchases

For added security, you can use a separate computer for banking and online shopping. This should be a "clean" computer with no malware on it. To keep the computer clean, it should not be used for everyday web browsing, social networking or email. Install Google Chrome with forced use of HTTPS.

Use a separate email address

It's worth considering creating an email address to be used only for online purchases. This way, you can reduce the risk of opening potentially malicious emails or spam masquerading as product ads or other notifications. If such emails are received at your primary email address, you should be aware that it is highly likely that they are fake or malicious.

Control and secure your online passwords

Using Password Manager technology can help you handle multiple accounts and passwords - and ensure that passwords are encrypted when stored that would otherwise appear as plain text. Some anti-virus and Internet security software products include password management and password security features.

Be wary of public Wi-Fi networks

If you're at the mall and you're going to buy something, sometimes you want to compare the local offer with the best deals from sellers on the Internet at the last minute. However, there are risks associated with accessing the Internet via a public Wi-Fi network. Cybercriminals can intercept your data, logins and passwords to access websites and financial information. If you need to go online while shopping, it's safest to do so through your cell phone's network.

Use a tablet if possible

If you have a Linux-based device (such as a Samsung tablet or other device with a Linux operating system), it may be safer to use it for online financial transactions. Using Apple iPads for online shopping is also preferable - if you have not jailbreaked your device. Either way, try not to use public Wi-Fi whenever possible and never forget the risk of stealing passwords and other data.

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