When was the last time you bought something from a brick and mortar store? When was the last time you bought something from a website online? One of the many conveniences of the 21st century is the ability to shop and buy products from the comforts of your living room. You can quickly and easily compare prices, find the best deals, and load up on your favorite products without ever leaving home.
However, you’re not alone. You are not the only one taking advantage of the online shopping phenomenon. There are millions of hackers scouring the internet for consumers’ identities and personal information. In order to avoid having your credit or debit card information taken, or worse, having your personal information and identity stolen, there are a few simple things you need to do when making online purchases.
The first thing you should always do is to make sure you are making purchases from a legitimate store. According to Heimdal Security, hackers create fake websites that infect your computer as soon as you click the URL. If you do make a purchase, the hackers will obtain your credit card information, name, and address. You can spot fake websites by looking for strange URLs, a wide array of brands at really low prices, and a poorly designed or functioning website.
As tempting as it may be to make purchases using free WI-FI around town, don’t. If you utilize an unsecured internet connection, hackers can intercept your web traffic and watch you in real-time. You should also keep a close eye on your bank account for any suspicious activity or purchases that you didn’t make. If you come across an unknown purchase, report it to your bank immediately.
You should always be aware of your “surroundings” when making online purchases, but we know that you can’t always protect yourself. There are numerous antivirus software on the market that can help protect your computer and your identity.