Shopping online might be one of the best things that came with the internet. The convenience it offers is among its top advantages. With the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, online shopping became more prominent. As with everything, there are pros and cons, and one of the disadvantages of online shopping is cybersecurity. However, there is some security and other tips that you can use in 2021 to get the best of online shopping.
1. Shop from reputable online stores
Some shopping sites crop up from nowhere and attract shoppers with massive discounts and low prices. People do not realize that most of these sites are run by cybercriminals, which puts you at risk of getting hacked.
Most of these shopping sites are designed to steal your data and inject malware into your devices. Remember the saying, “When it’s too good to be true, think twice.” If the discounts and the price are ridiculously low, think twice about visiting that site. It could be a way of luring and infecting you with viruses and malware.
2. Use a VPN
If you do any online shopping, make all your payments over an encrypted and secure network by installing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). What a VPN does is it encrypts all your data, both sent and received. A VPN encrypt all your data, ensuring nobody can intercept your messages or steal your submitted payment details. Do not log into shopping sites using unsecured Wi-Fi in places such as cafes, coffee shops, or cyber cafes.
3. Use comparison tools
Every shopper loves discounts, and saving some extra cash is always welcome. To find the best legit online discounts, use comparison tools. There are hundreds of free online sites and apps that can help you to find the best discounts. Look out for those offering discount codes, which include free shipping, fixed-rate, and percentage discounts.
4. Do bulk shopping
Buying in bulk often gets you better discounts, saves you money on shipping charges, and minimizes package waste. Rather than buy several items from one vendor, but on separate occasions, choose several items and have them package them together and ship them as one package. Look out for the end of season sales, and capitalize on that. If it’s the end of summer sale, buy a lot of stuff that you can store, and then use the coming summer as the stores will be selling them at a throwaway price to make room for the next season.
5. Ignore emails from unknown sources
Most often, people get hacked for not being vigilant. Phishing is a form of cyberattack that scammers use to steal data and money from their victims. If a shopping site sends you an email with an attachment or a link, do not download or click on that link.
Go to your browser and visit the site directly. Most of these attachments and links are malicious and lead you to fake sites that try to steal your data by prompting you to input your password, username, or credit card details. These attachments or links inject your network or device with malware such as ransomware.
2021 will see an increase in online shopping. The increase will not be led by necessity like it was in 2020, but by choice. Most people have learned a lot about shopping online and have seen and enjoyed the convenience it offers. If you are one of these people, follow these measures to get the most out of online shopping.
Shop from reputable stores, get a VPN, use comparison tools, bulk shopping, and ignore suspicious emails and links. Most of all, be patient and remember greed will always cost you. Think twice about that online store that is selling its wares next to nothing.