5 tips to protect yourself while shopping online

5 tips to protect yourself while shopping online

Welcome to the world of online shopping! With just a few clicks, you can buy anything you want from the comfort of your own home. However, as the popularity of online shopping grows, so does the potential for cyber threats. 

In this article, we'll equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect your personal and financial information from falling into the wrong hands. Your online shopping journey should be worry-free, and by following our advice, you can shop confidently!

Importance of shopping safely online

Online shopping offers convenience, variety, and great deals, but it also comes with risks. Being aware of these risks and taking necessary precautions to protect yourself is crucial.

One of the risks of online shopping is the threat of cybercriminals gaining access to your personal and financial information. This can lead to identity theft, unauthorised purchases, and financial loss. 

That's why it's important to be proactive and take measures to protect yourself. By following a few simple steps, you can significantly lower the risk of falling victim to cyber threats.

Common online shopping risks and scams

Before diving into the tips for protecting yourself while shopping online, let's take a closer look at some of the common risks and scams you may encounter.

Phishing emails: Phishing emails are designed to trick you into revealing personal or financial information by posing as legitimate organisations. They often contain links to fake websites that mimic the appearance of well-known brands or retailers.

Phishing/Fake websites: Cybercriminals create fake websites that look legitimate to deceive unsuspecting shoppers. These websites may offer knock-off products or simply aim to steal your personal information.

Unsecured Wi-Fi networks: Using public Wi-Fi networks, especially those that are unsecured, can expose your personal information to hackers. They can intercept your data, including credit card details and login credentials.

Malware and viruses: Clicking on suspicious links or downloading files from untrustworthy sources can lead to malware or viruses infecting your device. These malicious programs can compromise your personal information and even take control of your device.

Now, let's dive into the tips for protecting yourself.

Tips for protecting your personal information

  1. Create strong and unique passwords

A strong password plays a critical role in protecting your online accounts. Avoid using common passwords or personal information that can be easily guessed. Instead, use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, ensure that you use a unique password for each online account to prevent a domino effect in case of a security breach.

  1. Look for HTTPS

Before entering any personal or payment information, check if the website's URL starts with "https://" instead of "http://". The "s" indicates that the website has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, which encrypts data transmitted between you and the website.

  1. Check for a padlock symbol

In addition to HTTPS, reputable websites usually display a padlock symbol in the address bar. This indicates that the website is secure and your information is encrypted.

  1. Read customer reviews and ratings

Before making a purchase, take a moment to read customer reviews and website ratings. This can give you insights into the experiences of previous shoppers and help you gauge the website's reliability.

  1. Pay with a multi-currency prepaid card

Choosing a multi-currency prepaid card instead of a debit or credit card adds an extra layer of security to your online transactions. With a prepaid card, you can control your potential financial losses if there are unauthorised transactions since you can top it up with a specific amount.

Prepaid cards also let you load funds in different currencies, giving you flexibility and saving you from foreign exchange fees.

If you don't already have one, you can issue a prepaid card through the Bank al Etihad mobile app in minutes by following the steps here! It offers more than 14 currencies, including the Jordanian Dinar, and you can link as many currencies as you want.   

By implementing these tips, you can confidently navigate the world of online shopping, ensuring the safety of your personal and financial information. Stay informed, stay secure, and enjoy the convenience of online shopping!

Read about real-life fraud cases, here and here, to uncover lessons that will help you avoid falling into common pitfalls.

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