How to Protect Against ID Theft and Fraud When You Shop Online
Security breaches over the internet are a growing concern with online shoppers. There is no payment system or website that can guarantee one hundred percent security when making online transactions. However, there are certain steps you can take on your own to minimize chances of getting your accounts hacked and making your information vulnerable.
1. Use Secure Passwords
When setting passwords for accounts on different websites, make sure you do not keep the same password for accounts on all the sites. This is a common mistake most people make. If a hacker is able to break into one of your accounts, they are likely to try the same password first on all your other accounts and if these are the same, you will face a possible security breach.
Also, try to make the password as difficult as possible by using unique combination of letters and numbers.
2. Use Effective Antivirus Software
Make sure you have a latest version of any antivirus program installed and running on your computer so that any threats your system might face are blocked out before they infect your PC. Make sure the antivirus program you are using it updated and that you have the latest version of the program. This is because threats over the internet keep changing and so do the antivirus programs to keep up with these threats. Norton Antivirus software, a Symantec product, has been one of the most popular solutions against viruses, malware and spyware. It also identifies potentially harmful websites on search engine listings.
The internet browser you are using must be up to date and equipped to screen out any websites that may contain a virus. Don’t use older versions of browsers or browsers that have now become obsolete.
3. Do Not Click on Links in Emails
Beware of emails that have links and claim they are from any official institute or organization, such as your bank, PayPal or Amazon. You must be especially careful when these links ask you for personal and sensitive information; do not provide the senders with any such information.
More importantly, go with your gut. If you receive such an email and you find yourself asking “Is this really important and do I need to provide this information right now?” then your gut is warning you against it. Listen to it.
If you receive an email from a website that you do not have an account on, then you are definitely receiving emails from frauds and/or hackers.
4. Use Trusted Payment Process
Payment systems such as PayPal are secure and trustworthy. They do not ask you for sensitive information that might make you vulnerable. You can keep your information private when shopping online without the other party gaining access to these details.
5. Use Common Sense
If a website offers you deals that look too good to be true – they probably are! There are a lot of websites that are scams trying to get your details and personal information. It is important to be wiser than the criminals running these sites and avoid visiting them altogether.