Are you sure that your social media accounts are safe? Are your web browsing activities totally secure? The majority of us ignore these things with a statement that “we have nothing to hide”. The harsh truth is even the simplest of tasks can be used against you once you are vulnerable online.
From your social security passwords to clicking on unwanted pop-ups, any wrong click could lead to disaster. Online Shopping may excite you as it removes the hassle of physically going to the mall, but what we don’t know is the $10 worth of shirts bought online could potentially lead to you losing hundreds from your account.
To avoid such circumstances, check out the 13 tips we have provided to shop safely online.
- Use Bulletproof Passwords – The Most Basic Yet Overlooked Aspect
At times we ignore the basic steps just to bypass them and get to the real deal, like a shopping website’s page. What we don’t realize when we sign up, we tend to use the easiest and most common passwords possible to avoid the hassle. Passwords are the first essential step to making your online Browsing safe and secure. Algorithms are made in a way that can temper and bypass your passwords easily while browsing online.
Our tip would be to create a different password for every website you visit.
- Avoid HTTP Domains – Not Secure Anymore
In the quest to surf online, we tend to stray on websites that are fake and unencrypted making them a bigger threat to your browsing experience. These websites have tempting techniques which hook the users to visit the content on the website and we start purchasing through our credit cards, which basically means gifting your credit card pin to someone else.
What to do? Look for the URL on the top and see if the website is protected from HTTP; if it does not have that green padlock icon, then the website is not secure. Only domains with HTTPS with an icon of a Padlock are authentic.
- Check Statements
We tend to ignore the bank statements while purchasing through our credit and debit cards. Don’t wait for the statement to come at the of the month. It’s advised on the holiday season keep a regular check on your bank statement to see any fraudulent charges from the most trusted websites like PayPal and Wire Transfer.
If you see something fishy, then contact the customer support in your respective bank and make sure not to pay off your credit card until you see all the transactions are clear.
- Use Familiar Websites – Credible Is Always Better
The common mistake people make is starting to search the search results leading to malicious websites, which look prominent, but at the back, it’s trying its best to access your credentials. If you’ve used the website then chances, are you won’t get scammed. We all trust eBay or Amazon.com, but there are many which change the spelling to fool you.
Moreover, the sales on the website may look enticing and above the mark but it’s a technique to lure you in.
- Use an Antivirus – Stay Away from Those Pesky Viruses
The majority of the threats and viruses on your device come from online browsing. Pop-ups appear leading to new pages and tabs making you unintentionally visit websites that aren’t meant to be visited. Furthermore, your browser must be constantly updated when you go online. Why? For starters your browser stores cache and cookies to process bytes of information. An antivirus Avast vs Avira helps you prevent data leakage leading to malicious viruses entering your Laptop, such as pipechannel.com.
- Use Firewall
At times you use the ultimate protection yet led to scams and your system being vulnerable to unwanted threats. What to do? Add an extra shield by using a firewall. It’s an electronic barrier that prevents unauthorized access to your laptop and devices which is usually included in security software.
Using Firewalls ensures whenever you shop online all the devices connected to your network are secure including ‘Internet of Things, IoT such as webcams. It’s an added benefit as many of the IoT devices aren’t equipped with security measures.
- Avoid Public Wi-Fis
It’s a common habit to ask for the Public WIFI password whenever in a café or a public place, but we don’t know it poses a great threat to your devices. This Public WIFI at times is a tool for hackers to intercept your credentials such as passwords and access to your emails. Public WIFIs lack the encryption a password-protected WIFI has making it easily hacked.
Assume when using a public WIFI, someone or the other is watching. It advised not to enter any passwords or credentials online when using a public WIFI. Moreover, do not make bank payments as your PIN code could be seen.
- Use an Adblocker
When visiting multiple websites, you likely open unwanted websites or pop-ups that appear in new tabs, diverting you to that particular page. These pages although use HTTPS domains are a way to hack your credentials. These ads are meant to create malicious activities on your system. For that, an Adblocker could keep you safe to your desired website and not make you go astray. What it does is restricts these pop-up websites to appear and block them, making your web browsing experience safer and private.
- Enhance Privacy Settings
Many of us don’t even bother to change their privacy settings of websites while it’s set on default since the beginning. Now by default, it means it has minimum security countermeasures. But when it comes to social media platforms, it is quite important to keep your social media privacy settings updated thoroughly since you never know who has access to your private information not meant to be made public.
Prevent this by entering specific information and not overload unnecessary information online, customize your profile. Apart from the basic info about yourself do not put in phone numbers and email IDs public.
- Use Incognito Windows on Chrome
Now it’s tricky to understand how and when your online browsing can be tempered. The harsh truth is if your system is hacked, you won’t get to know unless some suspicious activity is seen. When hacked the hacker can go into your browsing history and derive the website you visited, and if entered your password in some, the hacker could bypass it easily getting access to your account.
Play it safe and use an Incognito Window to prevent such hacks. When gone incognito you can surf the web privately and people who use your device won’t ever get to know your browsing activity and if hacked the hacker as well won’t get to know, keeping your system safe.
- Disable Auto Logins
To avoid the hassle, we tend to save our passwords on particular websites so that we don’t have to log in again every time we visit that website. Why not? When auto logins are saved your passwords are saved in the system on the website. Hypothetically speaking, what if your bank details are saved and your device is accessed by someone else. Or if shopping online your account is hacked and someone else made the e-shopping and you get to pay.
It’s clear you get the idea, so, disable auto logins on your device to be safe than sorry.
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication – Do It Now!
It’s common for social media websites and bank websites regarding two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication (2FA) allows you to enter an additional layer of security protecting you from unwanted logins and thefts. Moreover, the website will also notify you by text sending a PIN to confirm that person is you.
Two-factor authentication allows you to have control over your online browsing making safe and secure surfing on the web
- Use A VPN – The True Digital Savior
Last but not the least, when all cease regarding online browsing safety, use a VPN. Virtual Private Network (VPN) reroutes your traffic through a secure network on a public WIFI making your online activity safe. It also changes your IP address making you virtually invisible to unwanted eyes.
How? VPN secures your connection and allows you to have your connection encrypted, giving you anonymity online and diverts your traffic. Even if someone tries to pinpoint your location through an IP address, they will fail miserable giving you complete authority to be safe while browsing online.
14. Be Cautious, Be Vigilant
I’m sure by now the blog has opened your eyes regarding what you are into when shopping online. These things are misguided and misunderstood by many which are why people do not take these seriously until someone shops online from your account while you suffer from the bill.
It’s better to avoid these things and see our 13 tips to be safe online shopping.