How to Protect Your Security While Shopping Online

Most of the people prefer online shopping but the question here is how you can protect security while online shopping. The answer is easy that is play smartly.

Trusting a new technology requires time which is why some consumers still hesitate from online shopping. The reason behind it is quite obvious i.e. where there is money, there is a risk. Malicious hackers are scattered all over the web, looking for sensitive data to exploit. Thus, security of the data while online shopping becomes a concern.

Some of the most important things that should be kept in mind while doing online shopping securely are the preference of credit card on a debit card, detecting illegitimate sites and keeping your device updated with latest security patches. In this guide, we will tell you how to protect security while doing online shopping by employing easy tricks.

Use Secure Sites

The thing that should be kept in mind before giving out financial information on a website is that the site is secure and legitimate. The most common way to know the legitimacy of a website is https in its site address. If the address ends with HTTP instead of an “s” then know that the website you are interacting with is not encrypting your interaction and your data is not secure. The online shopping websites that are legitimate will have the “s” for protecting it.

Moreover, malicious hackers develop fake shopping websites that can infect you when you click any suspicious link. The thing that is most horrible about these fake websites is the checkout process. Once a checkout process is completed, it will reveal every tiny bit of sensitive information to the cyber criminals. Thus, for security during online shopping, it is important to look carefully whether a site is real or fake.

Use Credit card

Shopping via credit card than the debit card is way safer due to the extra-legal defenses that are built-in the credit card. Credit cards are linked to the bank’s money while the debit card is linked to your bank account which is why there is a greater risk of hacking information when using a debit card.

Credit cards are more secure and less liable. Validation technologies and encryption have made transactions through credit card quite secure. Moreover, if you still doubt on the security of the credit card then stick to one card for online shopping. Some credit card companies have introduced the offer in which one-time payment methods are offered to the cardholders. For single purchase substitute numbers are valid after which they expire. This way you won’t get damaged by the hackers. Look if your credit card company is offering substitute numbers.

Keep your accounts secure with a password

Using a single password for multiple sites is quite insecure. Online purchases are done from different sites rather than one which is why having the same password for more than one site poses a great security risk during online shopping.

There are many options available that you can use to build a strong password and different passwords for each site. These apps help you to remember the dissimilar passwords making them more secure and entering your log in details automatically.  Passwords are gatekeepers thus they must be kept safe from the eyes of hackers and made hard to crack.

Keep a check on your bank account

Online shopping is the best way by which malicious hackers are able to steal sensitive information such as credit card details. The leak of credit card data is not always a human error. Most of the time companies fail to develop required protection for the data of their consumers which makes it easier for the cyber criminals to hack the information. This is why it is recommended to constantly check and review your bank account for any suspicious activity.

Use shopping apps instead of websites

Most of the major shopping sites have dedicated mobile apps. For secure online shopping use of mobile apps is recommended instead of going to the website and purchasing the product. This is because sneaking into the individual apps requires special attacks.

Yet, to protect security while shopping online you must only download shopping apps from sources that are reliable such as the Apple Store or Android Market. Moreover, always read permissions that the App asks for if any point does not make sense such as access to contacts then you must not allow it. One way of identifying the legitimacy of an app is to read the reviews and comments before downloading it.

Beware of phishing emails

A phishing email is the best tactic that hackers employ to trick the users into revealing sensitive information. Never open emails from the sender you don’t know. The hackers usually send emails impersonating a bank or financial institution saying there is an issue with your account and ask you to enter your account details. Never ever enter your data in such case instead call the bank directly and verify if there is any such problem.

In the case of online shopping, a phishing email may offer you such a product that is difficult to resist buying and leads the shoppers to take an impulsive decision by clicking on “Buy now”. This is where a malware attack begins.

For protecting yourself against such attacks you first need to identify it as a phishing email then just mark the email as spam, by doing so the email won’t appear in your inbox anymore and will also block the sender from sending any such emails again.

Don’t give additional details

Shopping websites ask you for information in order to complete your purchasing process or for starting a wish list. Keep in mind that for protecting security during online shopping, information which they require should only be provided. For instance, if they ask for phone number or address which is optional then skip giving it to them. Remember that the more detail you put about yourself on such websites, the easier and accessible you become for the cyber criminals. Additionally, you should read the privacy policy of the site that you are giving out information to so that you know where and how your data will be used.

Usually, the online shopping websites ask for two major types of information, Payment Information, and Shipping location. Information other than this is an indication that the online shop might be fake so be suspicious about it.

Protect your PC

An unprotected PC is most favorable for the hackers. Not installing latest patches for the software can result in malware infections. Such recklessness by anyone especially online shoppers is a major risk due to the involvement of private information.

Updating your software is the easiest way by which you can protect your data. Yes, it is time-consuming and tedious yet, it helps to improve security during shopping online and make software capable of fighting new attacks. Thus, as soon as new updates are introduced, install them because they are worth it.

Moreover, staying protected online also involves the use of antivirus software which identify the threats and keep you safe from malware.

Avoid using Public Wi-Fi

Connecting to a public Wi-Fi network for online shopping can turn out to be a nightmare. It is known that public Wi-Fi networks are not secure because the information you will enter using the public network is open i.e. it can be exploited. Although connecting to a Public network is a risk but if you do so then avoid logging into banking sites or payment sites such as PayPal. Also, make sure that these sites are logged out on mobile devices before you get connected to a public network.


The risk of cyber attacks has grown which has led online shoppers and e-retailers to enhance the security during online shopping. The website owners want to protect their reputation and preserve consumer trust while the customers want to make sure their private data and money is safe.

Although a lot of progress has occurred in the procedure of online shopping such as the introduction of 2FA. Yet, more is to be done. On your end, you can take extra protective measures that will protect your data while shopping online.

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