5 Easy Steps to Online Shopping Safety

As technology continues to advance, more and more possibilities become available. More and more tasks can be accomplished with our personal tech, or with the aid of the omnipresent world wide web.

It’s easy to frolic around the internet. It’s perfectly fine to explore the cyber playground. Until someone gets into some sort of trouble, that is.

Sharing information over the internet may seem like such a mundane thing. Everybody’s doing it, so it must be perfectly safe, right?


The Danger

The threat’s presence is more prevalent than you could ever imagine. No matter how secure you think you are, the truth is that you’re never truly safe.

You may feel perfectly comfortable shopping online, and why wouldn’t you? It’s so convenient, and very minimal effort is needed, if at all. But that sense of comfort is accompanied with complacency. We become so ignorant of trouble that we often forget that it just lies around the corner, waiting to jump on the next unsuspecting person.

One look at statistics will easily tell you that the Philippines is the 8th most vulnerable country to malware across Asia Pacific. And to top that off, FBI’s statistics show that this country is the 10th most attacked country on the internet worldwide.

It may not be as apparent as, say other crimes, but it’s real. And it’s alarming.

Does this mean you should just stop shopping online and visiting the internet all together?

You probably could, but it’s impossible really…

But there are ways to add layers to your online security. And these are:

#1: Consider Your Password Strength

Don’t settle for simply encoding “normal” passwords. What do we mean by this?

Make your passwords as weird as possible.

Instead of simply typing in a combination of your mom’s and dad’s birthday, or putting in the name of your favorite fictional character, mix password creation up.

Randomly press keys across the keyboard to create an intricate mix of symbols, numbers, and letters. Another way of keeping it secure is to have a short sentence as a password.

You may feel peeved about having to remember an extremely complicated password, but trust us. You’ll be thanking yourself later on.

#2 Say ‘Never’ when Shopping Sites Ask to Save Your Information

We know how tedious it is to keep typing in the same information over and over again. But that’s better than letting a site save your personal information (your name, your home address, your phone number, your credit card information etc). Once you do, it becomes important data at the mercy of the world’s hackers.

The more a site knows about you, the more vulnerable you become to a data breach. And unless you read an online shopping site’s privacy policy word for word, then you technically don’t really know how much of your personal information is being shared with a third-party website.

Personal information is like money: value it and protect it at all costs.

#3 Create a ‘Shopping Only’ Email Account

You can use one email address for every online transaction, and enjoy all the convenience it offers. But chances are, you’re also opening yourself to the possibility of data theft. What does your personal email account hold? Well, if you use it for everything to do with internet services, you probably have every kind of personal data loaded in there.

Creating a new account may require you to exert effort you don’t want to, but then again, refer to step number two. Personal information is valuable, and should be kept under virtual lock-and-key at all times.

#4 Update Your Software Regularly

It may not look important, but it is. Updating your browser, your antivirus software, and every other security feature in your computer means adding another layer of protection to your personal information.

Keeping things like these up to date gives your computer the latest security features. Outdated websites have holes in their security features. And we’ll have you know that hackers highly likely have discovered them, and will exploit them in every turn possible.

Updates keep you ahead of would-be identity thieves, and keep your information safe.

#5 HTTPS over HTTP

Browsing through the internet, you may have noticed the codes preceding a website’s URL.

Only shop in sites labeled as HTTPS. This means the site is using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), and it encrypts the information flying through the connections so only the intended recipient will receive it.

Another easy way of telling whether a site is secured or not is by checking to see if there is a green padlock before the HTTPS and the URL. Or in some browsers, closed lock or unbroken key at the bottom of the screen usually indicates that a site is safe.

Stay Safe and Secure

It’s not very pleasant to know that online shopping safety is easily compromised by data breaches and hacking incidents. But there are ways to keep our important information safe.

If advanced countries like the United States and Germany deal with cyber security issues on a regular basis, then what more for us?

We, at Unlideals, prioritize your security. And your online shopping safety is a part of our concern. So don’t disregard taking extra steps to cover your tracks and protecting your information closely.

For all you know, data security may very well save your life and your identity…

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30th Aug 2018

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