We recently held a webinar and issued a blog post about the top 5 risks of online shopping this festive season. Continuing down the same lines, we would now like to inform our readers about some of the best practices they should undertake while shopping online.
The Diwali season is a time for celebrations and gifts. E-commerce and shopping sites know this just as well and have tons of great deals and discounts for their customers. When compared with retail stores, these portals offer very sweet prices so there is no reason for someone to not buy the same items over these portals and save some of their hard earned money as well. Moreover, online shopping also gives one the luxury to not wait in long lines, visit crowded stores or worry about carrying large amounts of cash. It can all be done while sitting at home.
In our previous post we highlighted the top risks to look out for while shopping online. These were as follows:
- The risk of Phishing Scams
- The risk of Online Theft
- The risk of Specialized Malware
- The risk of Fake Stores
- The risk of Fake Apps
Tips and Steps for Safe Online Shopping
When it comes to avoiding online theft and malware, the best steps one can take involve several precautionary methods. Being safe is better than being sorry and with that in mind, here are Quick Heal’s top tips for safe online shopping this festive season.
Use your debit/credit card wisely
For online shoppers, their card info is the most crucial information to protect. If these card details fall into the wrong hands, the consequences can be disastrous. To avoid such situations, it is advisable to use a new debit card for online shopping. Keep the balance in this account at the bare minimum, so that even if the card is lost, the damage is minimal. Alternatively, use a credit card which has a low credit limit to minimize losses. You can also make use of the virtual credit card feature that most banks offer today. Using a card wisely is the best precaution you can take. If you are visiting a site for the first time, it is highly recommended that you choose the option of Cash on Delivery, or COD.
If it’s too good to be true, then it’s probably not real
There is no such thing as a free lunch. You know this, and even retail sellers know this. If you come across a deal somewhere that sounds absolutely unbelievable, then be wary. It could be a trap to lure you to a particular page and compromise your safety. Deals and discounts are common at this time of year, but it is always best to be cautious and suspicious of deals that sound unrealistically true. Use some cold hard logic before you decide to take the plunge and visit such pages and sites. Also check the URL and the HTTPS certifications on pages before you make purchases there.
Update your antivirus software and your OS regularly
Needless to say, your machine cannot get compromised if all your defenses are up and running. Users who have valid versions of Quick Heal running should ensure that their virus databases are updated. There are several settings such as browser sandbox, web filtering, phishing protection and others that guard against all kinds of online shopping threats. So always keep your software updated. Moreover, keep your OS and other programs/applications/games updated as well. Vulnerabilities in software often allow attackers to stage attacks, so closing off all possible entry points is the key.
Here are some additional points for security that everyone should keep in mind:
- Do not shop online when you are connected to a public/free Wi-Fi connection.
- Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar. This denotes that the page has HTTPS verification.
- Read reviews of products and websites before you actually purchase them.
- During online payments, use the OTP password for shopping and not the one you have set in the past.
- Do not follow links of products and deals that reach your inbox via unknown senders.
- Read the Terms and Conditions of offers before you make a purchase and if possible, also take a screenshot to avoid confusion later.
Shoppers who follow these tips should be relatively safe against most of the risks associated with online shopping this Diwali. A little bit of awareness and a bit of caution will help you stay safe and protected against several online shopping threats.
Quick Heal wishes you and your family a very Happy Diwali. Stay safe!