The advent of the internet gave consumers a great deal more power in deciding where they spend their money. It also made things a heck of a lot easier in most aspects of our lives. Unfortunately though, just like in the offline world, there are people out there looking to take advantage of consumers who aren’t as informed as the others.
Online fraud and identify theft is a serious problem today. Everyday consumers just like you have been subject to crime that they otherwise would not have had to deal with if they weren’t shopping online. Of course, this isn’t an epidemic crime problem—it still happens to a minority of consumers. But, incidents are increasing. That doesn’t mean you should never shop online. E-commerce has been a great tool for consumers. People just need to be aware and better educated.
There’s a great article written by Eric Griffith for Fox News that goes over 11 ways to improve your safety online. We’ll go over some of the most important ones here and you can read the rest of the article if you need to.
Use an Anti-Virus or Internet Security Suite – If you don’t have a security or virus program on your computer, not only is your shopping at risk, so is your data. There are free options available like Avira Antivirus and AVG.
Make sure there’s a Lock – Never, ever buy anything from a site that does not have a picture of the SSL Lock in the address bar. This is a basic but effective method of securing transactions.
Use Multiple Passwords – Don’t use the same simple password for all of your websites and email. This is a huge security flaw as all of your info will be accessible if one place gets breached.
Avoid extreme deals – Oftentimes deals for expensive items that are ridiculously cheap are scams or just gateways to get you to give up information. Stick with companies and websites you know are safe and secure.Back To All Consumer Resources