Eight Security Warning Signs When Shopping Online

11/24/2017

Security Warning Signs When Shopping Online

It’s an undeniable fact that many customers shop online, either for personal shopping or gift giving. Companies like Amazon and Etsy have built modern empires out of their online operations. With each passing year, more and more brick and mortar stores close their doors. With all of these shopping venues shutting down, the variety of online shopping sites has only grown more diverse.

But for every trusted online retailer out there, there is a different website that is certainly not as safe or secure. Online security is always something to be concerned about, and this is even truer when money is involved. Keep an eye out for these warning signs and how to respond to them in an appropriate way.


Eight Warning Signs to Check For and How To Pay Safely

  1. With the growing number of online shopping websites, there are guaranteed to be some bad eggs in the bunch. Shoppers might find themselves deceived and robbed if they aren’t careful. Even though the venue is online, most reputable online websites have both a physical address and a phone number according to Norton Security’s Mary O. Foley. If a site lacks either of these, then it might be one to avoid.
  2. Pop-up ads online or within your social media networks are another red flag for shoppers. Not only are they annoying, they might also indicate that a particular site is not the best in terms of online security. Do not download.
  3. Another sign of a scam would be extremely low prices. If the prices on a certain website seem too good to be true, the BBC’s website warns that they probably are. The easiest way to make sure that a website is safe, however, is to use the internet itself. A simple web search might yield the answer as to whether or not a shopping venue is legitimate.
  4. Look for grammar errors on sites and within the store’s apps.  This is a sign of a potentially fake site or app. Instead search out the store’s legitimate shopping website. Finding the shopping app and downloading it from the merchant’s website or from the play store is a better option to safeguard you are using a valid method for shopping.
  5. Be mindful when shopping at stores. Even with these warning signs in mind, it can still be easy for online shoppers to fall prey to a trap on the internet. As important as preparation leading up to a purchase is, how someone actually goes about shopping and paying online is just as critical, if not more so. It might be tempting to purchase a product while out and about, relying upon a Wi-Fi hotspot for an internet connection. However, Elizabeth Weise of USA Today warns that hackers often monitor public connections, meaning that waiting to shop until you get home is the safer bet.
  6. As is the case for all online activities, you will want to make sure that your passwords are rigorous without being complicated. That way hackers won’t be able to guess your password, but you won’t forget what it is, either. By being persistent in using different passwords for accounts you can protect yourself from being a victim.
  7. Similar to certain transactions offline, using a credit card is more advisable than using a debit card when it comes to shopping online. Paying with a debit card can lead hackers straight to a banking account, putting your money at greater risk. As added protection, do not keep your debit or credit card numbers stored in the site. Choose to enter your payment option and not have the store retain your account information.
  8. After a purchase is made, it is vital to still practice your due diligence when it comes to protecting your cash. Eric Griffith of PC Magazine states that shoppers should not wait until their monthly bank statement arrives to check and see if something is amiss. Instead, they should check their banking accounts online on a consistent basis. 
Shopping online can be a very enjoyable activity. With these tips in mind, you can remove a lot of stress from the entire online experience. Utilize North Shore Bank’s banking tools and services to help make guarding your funds easy. Furthermore, we are here to help. If you feel your North Shore Bank account has been compromised, please contact us right away. You can call 877.672.2265 or refer to the number on the back of your card.

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