Holiday season is here and everyone is making a beeline to buy appropriate gifts to suit the occasion. At times like these the stores are almost filled up with huge crowds and deals that make it almost impossible to get what you want. It is relatively easier to go shopping online to save time and get better deals quickly. However, online shopping is convenient but at the same time, it can also be potentially dangerous to shop online. It is during festival occasion hackers are on the prowl to steal or tamper with maximum user information. Nevertheless, one cannot altogether avoid shopping online as it has to be done. Here is an easy guide to smart shopping online to help you keep safe.
Initially you need to understand that using a reliable browser is the best option while deciding to shop online. You can use either Chrome or Firefox; the best option is using these browsers interchangeably. If you are using two browsers at the same time then you minimize your chances of online security threat from hackers. For example, you can use Chrome for transactions login and Firefox for casual browsing.
Another essential tip is to check for the URL that is displayed in the address bar above the browsing window. While opening websites that require sensitive data transactions or user login details for shopping you need to check for the URL. Check for the HTTPS extension at the beginning of the URL. This indicates that it is safe to browse. Remember if you are about to check into a legitimate shopping website and it does not contain HTTPS then it is better that you do not log into it as you risk falling a prey to Phishing.
Often we have a habit of continuing with the same password for a long time, this compromises your security. In order to be safer online it is essential to keep changing your passwords at a given interval of time especially during the holiday season. You need to change the passwords of your banking services, e-mail accounts and online shopping services that are similar to Amazon. Another thing to keep in mind is choosing a password that does not includes phrases or words. A password can be a composition of random words that can be separated by comas or spaces. However, you need to keep in mind that only websites like Microsoft accounts accept spaces within passwords including Amazon and Google. To be on the safe side, when you are done shopping you can again change your passwords to ensure the safety of your account.
Many times, it so happens that you forget to either log out of your account or just hit the X to close the window. This way your account is still logged in and it becomes insecure as the cookies are stored that might be used for hacking your account. Make it a habit to log out of your account after you are done shopping, after using your e-mails or other such services that require login details along with passwords.
VPN or Virtual Private Network can be utilized to encrypt the web traffic. In case, if you do not have the option available then you can use an alternate program for securing your network. Downloading options like TOR for Mac and Windows, downloading software like LogMeIn Hamachi or an option like a HotSpot Shield suited to Mac and Windows users are good alternatives. These programs will keep you safe while you shop or make transactions online via shopping website.
During the holiday seasons, the web traffic is large and there are many opportunities for hackers to get their hands on the financial details of a user. However, you can stay safe by utilizing a credit card to pay for your online shopping. This will also keep you safe from any kind of online fraudulent practices. Comparatively paying with a debit card is relatively risky as your PIN, other details can be compromised, and you may lose a lot of cash.
Implementing all the above tips will help you stay safe while you indulge in shopping online.