5 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

5 Online Shopping Safety Tips to Use Every Day

As technology advances, online shopping continues to grow in popularity for people across the globe.

It can make life so much easier. Just a few clicks and scrolls and you’ll have whatever desired product you want on your doorstep in a few days (or less).

However, with its increased popularity, online shopping has made it even easier for shoppers to fall victim to a variety of privacy infringements and security flaws.

Use these 5 simple tips for safe online shopping and make sure you’re doing the most to protect yourself, your assets, and your online purchases.


1. Avoid Using Public Wi-Fi

Shopping online means giving out personal information that an identity thief would love to grab for themselves. It can be quite tempting to shop on your phone while running errands. Public Wi-Fi leaves your personal information vulnerable to theft by a technology-savvy person using the same public airwaves. Anything from your name and address — even credit cards and banking information — can be up for grabs while using public Wi-Fi.

2. Verify Webpage Security

While using the web, have you noticed a small lock in the corner of the URL bar? This icon indicates the website has added privacy protection for consumers.

closeup image of the Hudson River Community Credit Union URL with the https secured website lock icon

 

Additionally, secure websites will have a URL that begins with https (hypertext transfer protocol secure) as opposed to http. Websites with https will mask the shared data, such as passwords and financial information through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology.

If there isn’t an s at the end of http, then the website isn’t secure and does not offer that layer of protection for your information.

3. Be Mindful of Emails

If you receive an email with an offer that seems too good to be true, it is probably a scam.

While it’s tempting, it’s best to delete an email from and unknown sender, even if they do have a “special offer” waiting for you. The links or attachments within the email are likely not as forthcoming as they seem.

Opening an email from an unknown sender or business you don’t recognize could lead to a virus or malware infecting your computer, phone, or tablet, or worse.

4. Investigate the Business

Determining the legitimacy of a business and the products is easier to do in real life, as opposed to on the web.

There are websites on the web that are specifically built with the sole intent of looking like a legitimate business. In reality, these illegitimate businesses are created to gather your credit card, banking, and other personal information.

Before making a purchase, investigate the business. Does the company have reviews? If so, what are consumers saying? While doing research, do complaints or reports with the Better Business Bureau come up in the search results?

If even a single red flag is raised, it would be best to shop leave your virtual shopping cart for a reputable online business.

5. Check Your Statements

If you haven’t already gotten yourself in the habit of doing so, checking your bank and credit card statements regularly is essential.

Getting yourself into this routine will help ensure your account isn’t subjected to fraudulent charges.

In the event that an illicit website has gathered your personal information, it’s important to act quickly to protect your finances.

Hudson River Community Credit Union members can easily access their bank account online to review


Reporting Fraud

There are two types of fraud that can be reported: account fraud and plastic fraud.

Account fraud happens when someone has gained access to your account.

Plastic fraud, on the other hand, happens when someone has gained access to either the physical debit and/or credit card or the number itself.

Whether you’ve encountered account fraud or plastic fraud, the situation will need to be handled quickly and efficiently.

The team at Hudson River Community Credit Union are here to help do just that.

For more information about protecting your finances, online safety tips, and more, contact our team today.