Considering that you have the right technology and tools in place, security in online shopping is important to avoid security breaches.
Human error is always to blame with security breaches so it’s important to maintain proactive and smart online shopping habits.
As Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals approach, the latest product lineups of smart devices go on sale.
As a result, many will be set up for use. Security protocols must be in place to protect you and your family from online security breaches and fraud.
Consulting the internet for ratings and reviews before buying a product is a common step in the buying process.
When it comes to tech products, diligent research beforehand, of not just specs, but known vulnerabilities and malware can help avoid future problems.
To further minimize risk, buy from reputable manufacturers, and avoid buying used devices that can already be compromised.
Keep It Short and Never Reuse!
During your research, check to see if there are a default password and the steps to change it. When changing a password, adhere to the best practices.
Don’t reuse passwords. And contrary to past guidelines, long and overly complicated passwords are not more secure (they lead users to saving them somewhere insecure or repeating the one password).
Using a short phrase as a password, or investing in a password manager, can eliminate the hassle of tracking passwords for every account.
Update Your Devices
Update the device. “Remind me later” isn’t convenient when your computer gets breached and your privacy and security are compromised.
Updates provide patching against known vulnerabilities. If not updated and patched, attackers can easily take advantage of those vulnerabilities and devices. Implementing auto-updates ensures your devices stay secure.
Use Secure Payment Routes
Pay with either a credit card or PayPal. These options offer more buyer protection when it comes to fraudulent charges.
Credit card companies, such as Visa and Mastercard, have security features in place to protect consumers.
Make Sure It Says HTTPS
Be sure to check the URL during checkout. If the URL starts with “https,” then the site is deemed secure.
Secure in this case means that there is secure communication and data are not accessible by third parties.
Use Google Chrome as a browser as an added layer of protection, because the browser indicates when the site does not have “https” by posting a red “Not secure” label when entering text.
Never Trust Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is never secure. In addition to not knowing what information or data is being tracked, it also creates an open door for cybercriminals to access your information.
A VPN is the safest, most secure, option for connecting in public. If a VPN is not available, then using your phone’s hotspot or cellular data are both safe options.
Use Different Usernames and Passwords
Reusing usernames and passwords is number one on the list of cybersecurity mistakes. By using the same log-in credentials across multiple accounts, it creates vulnerability.
When a hacker gains access to one account, then the rest are susceptible to hacks. Access to an account exposes personal and financial data that can then be used for future attacks.
Having multiple log-in credentials could be daunting to keep track of, but password managers are available.
Check and Re-check Links!
The online buying process includes: shopping on the site, check out, and then confirmation and shipping emails.
At every step, it is important to verify that the site or link is still secure. Attackers can seamlessly redirect a page to a not secure page unknowingly to the buyer.
Attacks don’t stop at the checkout. Check all subsequent emails (you don’t want to fall for an email phishing scam).
First, validate who the sender is. It is easy for attackers to spoof email addresses to make it appear the email is from the retailer.
Then be cautious of any links or attachments in an email. Don’t click if you are not 100% positive it is secure.
Be warned that attackers spoof mail carriers. FedEx and Amazon have warned customers about phishing attempts.
These tips aren’t revolutionary or life-changing. It’s taking steps that individuals already do and ensuring that they are adhering to the best practices.
It’s improving upon existing habits to ensure that security becomes a continuous process at both work and home.
Part of not becoming a victim of a cyberattack is by being an educated shopper. Follow these tips and you’ll minimize your risks.