How To Shop Safely Online During The Holidays & Beyond

The holiday months will soon be here and that means that many people will be doing their shopping online. Each year billions of dollars are spent buying goods online, and behind each purchase is a financial transaction. With most people using their credit and debit cards to shop, a lot of data is being transferred online. The consumer should be aware of the steps needed to shop safely online.

Before we look at some tips for safe online shopping you should know that every major online retailer has security measures in place that will encrypt your personal data. Still, businesses have been hacked and data has been stolen. It still pays for you to follow some safety guidelines when you shop online.

Use a VPN

Even though e-commerce websites have their own security measures in place, using a VPN increases your security when browsing and shopping online. Your IP address is changed to appear as the one associated with the VPN server, and you also benefit from end-to-end encryption. This makes it virtually impossible for thieves to steal your data.

If you don’t currently have a VPN, don’t despair. You can get one from at a reasonable price. VPNs are also handy for those who work in other countries and need a way to access restricted web services.

Stick With Major Retailers

Another thing that you really want to do is limit your shopping to the big retailers like Amazon, eBay, and WalMart. Major retailers and trusted brands are not going to get caught up in scams that will separate you from your money. If you have a problem with your purchase you will also have an easier time getting help when you use a name that has a solid reputation.

The security of the websites operated by major retailers is also probably better, but do remember that there have still be hacks and breaches. To try and add even more protection you might want to give serious consideration to our next tip.

Use a Payment Processor

Instead of shopping with a credit or debit card you might want to make your purchases at a retailer that accepts PayPal. This is one of the world’s leading payment platforms. When you buy with PayPal you do not have to expose your credit card or debit card information to the seller. You simply use the funds in your PayPal account to make the purchase.

It is possible to link your cards and bank account to PayPal, and you will probably want to do that so that you are not limited in what you can send or receive. There is little to be concerned about. PayPal has one of the best reputations for safeguarding personal information.

For those in Europe, Skrill may be an option. There is also Neteller and other services. You will have to check the website of the retailer to see which payment methods they accept.

Strong Passwords Are a Must

It is a must that you use strong passwords when you are shopping online. Do not use passwords that are easy to guess, and do not use passwords that you use for email or other services. There are numerous apps that will help you create strong passwords and remember them. LastPass is one option.

It is recommended that you periodically change your passwords. Some people set a schedule for doing this and stick to it. A good choice would be to go through every six months and update the passwords for all your online shopping sites.

Limit Your Social Sharing

It is only natural that you would want to share your purchases on social media. We like for others to see what we have bought, and sometimes we can even earn rewards for referring people to a shopping website. The problem with this is that people then know where you shop. This information can easily get to the wrong people who may try to access your online shopping accounts.

While we are on the subject of social media you also want to be wary of FB ads or solicitations from people who want to sell you something. If you see an ad on Facebook that offers a popular product for a ridiculously low price, then you probably want to pass it up.

Monitor Your Credit Card Transactions

This goes without saying but you should keep a close eye on your credit card transactions. Most people have alerts set up so that they will get a text message when they make a purchase. This type of alert will let you know when your card has been used.

You can also go online and check your credit card statements to make sure there have not been any charges that you do not remember. If you do see charges to your card that you did not make, open a dispute with your card company. The sooner you act the more likely it is that the issue will be resolved.

Following these simple steps will help you have a safe shopping experience online. Remember, a good starting point is to order a VPN from VPNaccounts today!

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