How to Stay Safe While Online Shopping

| Tedis Baboumian |

Shopping online is becoming more and more common since it’s so quick and convenient. When you shop online, you can quickly compare prices from more than one merchant, and you don’t have to worry about fighting traffic, looking for a parking place, or standing in line to make purchases. A concern many consumers have now however is how to stay safe while online shopping.

Use Secure Websites and Trusted Retailers 

Shop with retailers you know and trust, and make sure you have a secure internet connection when making a purchase. Look for a symbol of a padlock in the address bar and “https” rather than “http.” The S at the end stands for secure. Some browsers highlight unsecured sites in red. If you’re interested in making a purchase from a company you’ve never done business with, check the Better Business Bureau for complaints and look for online reviews to make sure they’re legitimate.

Avoid Shopping Using Public Wi-Fi

Shopping online is done so frequently that you could forget that using public Wi-Fi for shopping isn’t safe. Places like hotel lobbies, coffee shops, and airport lounges allow you to sign onto public Wi-Fi, but it makes you vulnerable to being tracked. Wait until you’re home to make online purchases. You can also set up a hotspot through your smartphone, which is safer than public Wi-Fi.

Use a Secure Payment Method

When shopping online, use a secure payment method such as PayPal or a credit card. When you use a credit card, your bank may notify you if there’s suspicious activity, and when you use a secure payment method, you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent charges. It’s more secure to use a mobile pay app on your smartphone than a credit card when making purchases in brick-and-mortar stores.

Use Strong Passwords

It’s tempting to use passwords that are easy to remember such as your birthday or the name of your pet, but the easier passwords are to remember, the easier they probably are to guess. Use a combination of lower and uppercase letters along with numbers and symbols. Avoid reusing passwords on multiple sites. A password manager can create uncrackable passwords and keep track of them for you.

Pay Attention to Your Statements

Some people assume their credit card statements and bank statements are always accurate. Go online regularly and view your activity to make sure there are no errors or fraudulent charges. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to your credit report to make sure the balance and payment status are reporting correctly for each of your accounts. Also, make sure there are no accounts on your credit report that you don’t recognize.

Dovly can help if you find anything you need to dispute on your credit report. Dovly is an AI credit engine that helps you track, manage, and fix your credit. We can work with the credit bureaus to dispute inaccuracies for you. As your credit is corrected, you’ll see your score improve which puts you in a better position to be approved for loans, credit cards, or a mortgage. Try it risk-free with our free membership tier.

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