How to Stay Safe Shopping Online this Black Friday and Always

how to stay safe shopping online

There’s no better time to learn how to stay safe shopping online than a time when the world is preparing for what is regarded as “The Western World’s the biggest day of spending” –Black Friday. Online shopping is big business these days, we have more consumers turning to the world wide web to purchase goods and even get their services. However, one event most online shoppers look forward to is “The Black Friday event”. It’s the time of the year when most online stores offer the largest discounts and biggest price slashes. Unfortunately, it is also the time of the year the highest rate of scamming and internet fraud is recorded. So, learning how to stay safe shopping online is a must if you want to make the most of the event!


1. Choose to Use Only Established and Known Online Shop

The best advice available on how to stay safe shopping is probably to only shop with popular, known and established shops. This gives you the confident that these shops have in place robust security measures to protect you.
Also, be careful of fraudsters that often create fake and professional looking website to lure unsuspecting victims.

2. Look out for Https URL and the Padlock Symbol

“Https” was developed by Netscape, is an online safety protocol that encrypts information so that data can be kept private and protected. In most cases, the text in the URL is preceded by a padlock symbol (if this is missing, the website should be treated with caution).
The ‘s’ in https, stands for secure. Websites that use https are safe because they utilize SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) to encrypt any information that is distributed online, such as your credit card details.

3. Be Careful and don’t Rush into ‘Extravagant’ Offers that are too Good to be True

Online shops are a business just like any physical store, thus they are setup to make profit. Like physical stores they offer special offers, discounts and freebies, sometime “out-of-the-world but still reasonable.

Let all your shopping online be well-informed and cautiously done because there are plenty of scams looking to hook you in with tempting offers. In some cases, the fraudsters are just looking to simply infect or attach to your device.

It is advisable to be doubly vigilant during this Black Friday and Holiday seasons, when loads of amazing and genuine offers are begging for your wallets. The more reliable the brand and the more secure the URL, the more likely it is that it’s authentic. If not, then walk away.

4. Don’t Use Public Wi-Fi to Shop

Anytime you enter personal information using a public network, you’re setting yourself up for identity theft. Most Wi-Fi hotspots don’t encrypt your data, so any hacker at wherever you’re sharing Wi-Fi can basically just harvest/gain access to your identity with the right software. Be aware that strangers can pick up any information you send through Internet when you’re using a hotspot. If such information make you vulnerable, wait until you get a more secure network before doing such transaction. It may be less convenient, but it’s much safer.

5. Check the Company’s Privacy Policy

Here’s the 5th way how to stay safe shopping online. Reading the privacy policy is the only way to know for sure what a company does with your information and they transmit it. Most time, we have a tendency to gloss over this information, especially if it’s lumped with the terms of service that we all say or assume we’ve read and agreed to, but it’s important if you want to make sure your personal data can’t be sold to any third parties and that it is encrypted and secure.

6. Update your Browser Regularly

Each new version of your Internet browser, especially the popular browsers, gets a boost in security. Older browsers, besides not working as well with some websites, often have holes in their security that hackers have discovered and can exploit. The same goes for your operating system and anti-virus software. Updates will keep you ahead of would-be identity thieves and keep your credit safe.

7. Be Wary of Clicking on Links in Emails

Instead, type out the address in your browser to make sure you’re going to the site you think you’re visiting. Many phishing scams involve emails from what seem like legitimate sites. Banks, online stores, anything you might trust. They, they send you to a phony site where they can gather your information cheaply. Make sure you don’t follow all links you received from all emails. Real sites won’t ask for important information over email. If you have any doubts about an email’s authenticity, go to the company’s website and get in contact with them.

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