5 Ways To Make Online Shopping Safer - Refresh Financial

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5 Ways To Make Online Shopping Safer


Some say the best way to avoid all the traffic, the parking lots, and the line-ups during your holiday shopping is to simply shop online. With retailers like Amazon serving Canada now, it’s easier than ever to knock off every item on your Christmas shopping list quickly. There is no question, shopping online is convenient.

Is there a downside, though? Is it too good to be true? Anything that’s that easy has to have some negatives to it, right? Well, in a word, yes. There are risks involved with shopping online. But with a few little precautions, and making sure we’re aware of what makes it riskier, we can ensure our online shopping experience is easy and comfortable.

Here are 5 ways to make your online shopping safer:

1. Use the official app to shop instead of the website

If your favourite online retailer has an app, shop using it instead of their website. This will ensure you’re on the right page and paying the right people. Sometimes, in a whirlwind of clicking links and checking sizes and filling out gift notes, you can be taken to another website. Either by clicking on a malware infected link, accidentally clicking on an ad and not realizing it, or because your computer may be already infected with malware. Using the app eliminates this risk.

2. Run a malware/virus sweep on your computer before you shop

These days, there are tons of free apps that will identify viruses and malware on your computer. They are as easy as one click to scan, one click to clean, and one click to delete anything found. Running this before you shop will ensure you’re not giving out your information to anyone you don’t trust.

3. Make sure all of your payments are being made on a payment page that is secure

A secure page is usually indicated by a small padlock in the address bar. This means that the server the page is located on has robust security, making it difficult for the information transmitted through it to be accessed by anyone who shouldn’t be able to.

4. Check out as a guest

Many online retailers will request that you create an account to shop in their store, but if they offer the option to check out as a guest, you should choose that. It means your information is not stored in an account and should their servers ever be hacked, you won’t have to worry.

5. When you do have to create an account, use complex passwords

Your passwords should contain a mix of many different characters: symbols, numbers, lowercase, and uppercase. If you have trouble remembering your passwords, use a password tool like Passpack.com - this tool also offers a password generator.

Shopping online comes with its own set of risks, but as long as you take some precautions, it should be smooth sailing. Make sure, as well, that you’re reviewing your credit card statements and checking for anything that seems strange. If you find anything weird, deal with it right away and everything should be fine. Happy shopping!

What precautions do you take before shopping online?

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