Protect Your Personal Information When Shopping Online
Who doesn’t enjoy shopping online? It’s convenient and easy. However, do not forget these three don’ts of safe online shopping, for there are many bad guys out there waiting for a slip from your side.
- Don’t shop using a public computer
Sushant purchased a gift for his mom using a public computer on her birthday because there was some problem with the Internet connectivity in his building. Little did he realize that he was taking a risk by using a public computer for shopping online. When the credit card bill came, he was shocked to find two unauthorized transactions worth INR 50,000. Luckily for him, he contacted his bank in time and the bank bore the cost. (In India, if you submit a report within 30 days of noticing a fraudulent transaction made using your credit card, you are not charged for that transaction; otherwise, you are.)
Dealing with fraudulent transactions can give you quite a few headaches and sleepless nights—besides upsetting your budget if you learn about it or act late. Minimize your risk to credit card fraud by not shopping using a public computer.
If you forget to log out, anyone sitting next can access your personal information and use it to his or her gain. Even if you always log off, you are not completely safe. Any hacker can obtain the sensitive information using a key logger software tool.
Public Wi-Fi is not safe either, because of the open nature of the network, which makes snooping easy.
- Don’t transact if the URL address doesn’t contain an extra ‘s’
You will see either http or https before a website‘s name in the address bar. Any website which permits online transaction will have https. The extra ‘s’ ensures that information you fill in while transacting is transferred in encrypted form.
Rajeev, a businessman dealing in cricket products in Noida, learned this the hard way. He purchased something online; however, when the credit card bill came, he found, much to his horror, an unusual transaction in it, a transaction that he had not authorized. He got the issue resolved, but only after a dozen or so frantic calls to the bank.
Whenever you shop online ensure that the website is safe and genuine and has ‘https’ before its name in the address bar.
- Don’t keep your computer unprotected
Sarita didn’t renew her antimalware software’s subscription only to repent later. Someone hacked her computer, stole her personal information, and used it for applying a new credit card in her name.
Thankfully, Sarita’s CIBIL score was very poor, because of a settled loan in the recent past, and the fraudster couldn’t obtain a new card. Otherwise, someone could have used the card in her name and caused her a lot of financial loss.
You are recommended to always keep your PC or laptop protected by installing a respectable antimalware application. In addition to this, keep your passwords and other personal details in a password-protected file and use strong passwords, a blend of alphabets, numbers, and special characters.
Apart from these three tips, you are also recommended to use your credit card, and not your debit card, for transacting online as much as possible. There are two reasons for this:
- Debit cards have no spending limit while cards do
- Disputing fraudulent transaction is much easier in case of a credit card than a debit card
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