Online shopping has become the new normal in recent years, with many consumers preferring to shop online instead of brick-and-mortar stores. While the convenience is hard to pass up, spending money online does come with its own set of risks.
Most e-commerce stores are doing a great job protecting their customers’ information, but the responsibility falls mainly on the shopper to safeguard your financial information. However, there are some basic ways to stay safe online, like using complicated passwords and storing them in a password app, using a secure wi-fi connection, and checking for spam and other warning signs.
If you’re looking for peace of mind beyond taking those basic precautions, there are a few other ways you can stay safe online and protect your financial information from falling into the wrong hands.
Use A Credit Card Instead Of A Debit Card
When shopping online, it’s always best to use a credit card instead of your debit card. This is because credit cards typically come with more fraud protection and options if your credit card is compromised or used fraudulently.
There are even new services where you can use a third-party app to pay and never divulge your credit card information to the business. These are worth exploring if you are shopping online multiple times per month or doing high-volume transactions.
Sign Up For Account Alerts
Regardless of which payment method you use, sign up for account alerts from your vendor. These alerts will notify you if someone makes a transaction over a specific dollar amount (which you can set), and you’ll be quick to notice any unauthorized transactions.
Check Your Credit Report Regularly
Make it a habit to check your credit report at least once per quarter. There are plenty of free options out there to manage this process, and most of them will not count it against you to run a credit check. Understanding your financial history can help you become better with money management in general, as well.
Be on the lookout for anything you do not recognize, outstanding balances for accounts you’ve paid off, or anything that looks suspicious. It’s also a good idea to sign up for regular credit monitoring so you are informed about your credit score and how opening or closing accounts will impact your score.
Shop With Verified Businesses
It’s tempting to swipe up on that Instagram post but be careful about which sites you visit and what information you are sharing about yourself. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of fraudulent websites out there right now, many posing as e-commerce sites with no verified security or any intention of sending you what you order.
If you see an ad for something you like, you can open their website via a separate app to verify they are a legitimate business. Check for customer reviews and security certificates that authentic the website.
On the other hand, if you are the business owner, you must work with qualified vendors that help you enhance customer trust and communicate that your website is safe and secure for online transactions. This can be an extra expense, but it’s an investment that will likely result in additional sales and loyal customers. Companies that prioritize getting IT Support Services Information will earn the respect of their followers and potentially gain more customers.
Online shopping will only increase in popularity and volume, so putting effort into these basic safety measures will serve you best in the long run. A few minutes of additional research or security layers can save you thousands of dollars and the hassle of having your financial identity compromised.