For many people, online shopping has become the primary means of purchasing goods and services. With countless merchants providing consumers online shopping platforms, the number of shoppers is projected to grow further. A collaborative study by OC&C Strategy Consultants, PayPal, and Google back in 2015 estimated that the online retail industry in major markets U.S., U.K., Germany, and China will be around $840 billion.
Unfortunately, this trend has also caught the fancy of many cybercriminals, who have been continually devising methods to steal from online shoppers and merchants, from hacking databases to phishing personal information.
Various security measures are being implemented to protect consumers and give them peace of mind. But to secure their personal and financial information, particularly credit card details, online shoppers can take precautionary actions, such as the following:
Buy from trusted brands
While sticking with popular or well-established brands or merchants is as good as any advice for online shoppers, one can still establish trust with and purchase from lesser known merchants by conducting research.
Use credit card
Credit cards remain one of the safest payment options for purchasing through the Internet because of many advantages, including the protection of by the Fair Credit Billing Act. Credit cards do not touch the customer’s own funds, and unauthorized charges can be reversed.
Ensure security of website
There are current online safety protocol used by websites to encrypt data in order to protect customer information. Most of these websites have a URL that is prefixed by “https://” or preceded by a padlock image.
Be wary of Wi-Fi hotspots
While public Wi-Fi connections provide convenience for smartphone owners, there are security risks involved in connecting to these hotspots. Hackers can find out users’ login details and credit card information when they are input while connected to the attacked network. Thus, when accessing the Internet through public Wi-Fi hotspots, do not log in to emails and bank accounts, and, more importantly, do not purchase anything online.
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