7 Security Tips For Safely Shopping Online

Secure sign-in sealNowadays large number of users shop online purchasing different types of goods and services. Online shopping has literally exploded in recent years. Although it's a big boon for shoppers, it has also raised security concerns among the users. There are large numbers of cases where users were robbed while shopping online due to phishing attacks and data sniffing. Although an average online shopper takes every precaution to securely complete the transaction, still hackers manage to steal sensitive information in some of the cases. To prevent this mishap, one must take some essential security precautions to prevent any kind of financial and personal damage. These safety measures are easy to implement and simply require your attention and awareness. So let's get started and see some of the most essential security tips for safer and secure online shopping.

Always prefer well-known shopping websites

This is one of the best ways to reduce the chances of on-site fraud significantly. Unless you don't have any other option, always prefer big names that are known to offer secure online shopping. Popular websites like Amazon, eBay, and similar online mega-stores are the best sources to shop online.

While shopping through these renowned online stores you can be sure of genuine products and their right cost. These are two important considerations while purchasing a tangible product from an online store. Since these big websites are in the online shopping business from past several years, they've refined and hardened the security of their online payment system to make it as reliable as possible.

Always check for secure (HTTPS) URL

Whenever you're shopping online, no matter which website is used to buy a product, you must ensure that it is using (https) secure HTTP protocol while making a payment or while making changes in your account.

Secure HTTP protocol

All the data carried through this secure protocol is encrypted while passing through the internet. This encryption of information prevents any kind of data sniffing keeping your sensitive financial details secure. If you find a website which is not using this protocol while making a payment, you should never use it for online shopping. This is a simple yet extremely useful precaution that must be taken care of to prevent leakage of your information.

Install Anti-phishing and identity theft prevention software

Hackers often use phishing techniques to create look-alike web pages of popular shopping websites. Innocent and unaware users fall into this trap and inadvertently give away their credit card information. Online shoppers are often allured through heavy discount phishing emails that divert the visitors' to a look-alike hacking site.

To prevent this fraud, you must install powerful and reliable anti-phishing software. These software programs come in different varieties like a standalone desktop application, a toolbar or in the form of a browser plugin. Once installed, you'll get an alert whenever you receive such kind of phishing emails or you directly land on such websites through other sources.

Look for secure sign-in seal and security (SSL) certificates

Good online shopping portals get their website and payment system verified from renowned security certification and authentication agencies like VeriSign and TRUSTe. You must check for these certificates and seals to get assured for the reliability of their online payment system. Generally, link to these sign-in seals and certificates are found in the footer of the website.

Secure sign-in seal

Websites who avail these certificates get thoroughly verified by the concerned security agency for different aspects related to online security. Once a website passes all the verification tests, only then a certificate is issued to that website. These certifications add credibility to the website's payment system and assure users' of a secure shopping environment.

Use PayPal instead of credit cards

Millions of shoppers and merchants across the world use Paypal system to send and receive payments. It is an excellent way to pay for online shopping in a secure way. Since it is widely used across the whole web, almost every online seller accepts payments through PayPal. This gives you the flexibility to make your payments either through your credit or debit card or through Paypal payment system.

PayPal Homepage

But giving your credit card information on unknown websites is very risky. To avoid this, simply add your credit or debit card to your PayPal account. Now every time you make a payment through your PayPal account, you don't need to give your credit card details. This keeps your sensitive financial information secure and gives you complete peace of mind. You can change or remove your credit card information in your PayPal account at your will. This does not affect your payment capability.

Double check delivery address

Although this is very elementary, still a lot of users fail to cross check the delivery address after completing their online purchase. This can be disastrous if you're purchasing an expensive product and the given address has some mistakes. Sometimes websites pick the default address given in the shopping account.

This address can be different from the actual address where the product needs to be delivered. You must ensure that the delivery address matches with the destination address before pressing the final payment button.

Create strong passwords for shopping accounts

And last but not the least is the basic online security principle of creating strong passwords for all your sensitive accounts. Large numbers of accounts are hacked simply because the passwords are not strong enough and are easily guessed by the intruders. If you frequently change your passwords and make them strong enough, your online shopping activities will be much safer and secure. You can also try various password management programs to assist you in generating strong passwords.