Have you ever used your smartphone to shop? Well, this activity has never been easier. No matter what items we want to purchase, be it grocery stock or jewelry, the smartphone technology has simplified everything. We can now buy any product we want, at the time we want it.
There are many products that we can buy online, but the common things that people buy online include jewelry, wireless chargers, body oils, laptops just but a few to mention.
As you buy these products, saving money should always be on your mind. Many online purchases will make you spent a lot of money, so try using some of the money saving strategies when shopping online to save you some bucks.
According to statistics by IMRG Capgemini eRetail Index in 2016, the sales made by smartphones were at a record 47%. Further study showed that this figure boosted UK online sales to £133bn.
Although the growth is significant, there is no doubt that it has many risks accompanying it. If they are not on the lookout, many consumers might be exposed to several dangers brought about by mobile retailing. Such dangers and risks involved, identity fraud, hacking, and card theft.
Online identity theft has been rampant in the recent past. Many people have been a victim of this fraud, and a good number of them have acquired massive losses. Well, to help on that, the following are some of the simple tips to avoid online identity theft.
1. Watch out for phishing websites
These are websites that present themselves as legit for business, but unfortunately, all they need is your critical information. Be careful whenever a site asks for critical information like social security number and credit card numbers.
[Read more: How to Avoid Falling for A Phishing Scam]
2. Use an antivirus or anti-malware programs
An antivirus will prevent entry of malicious programs that may cause havoc to your system.
[Read also: The Essentials of Antivirus Protection]
3. Use unique passwords for every website
Many hackers will gain access to your email or online accounts and get information from there. This is why it is very important to ensure that your password security is intact across several platforms.
As a result, many retailers are currently providing easy to use apps that give purchasers an opportunity to purchase a variety of goods via their smartphones, saving time as well as money. Many retailers also provide strategies for how to shop securely on your smartphone or tablet. Adam Warne, a group IT director at online retailer AO.com, says that retail apps provide a safe shopping platform for many customers. This is because the apps provide extra security and protection.
4. Check your sources
Well, you have to understand that many retail apps provide security layers, but they will not protect you all the time. Most of the cybercriminals will trace some weakness in your phone’s software and apps, then use the same to rob you. It is therefore important that you regularly update the retail apps and software on your phone. This will help you strengthen the defence on your phone.
It is equally important to be keen when downloading retail apps. Maybe illegitimate people and counterfeiter have flooded the online market. When you use any of the fake retail apps, you expose yourself to a risk of being a victim of fraud. This can go to an extent of being locked out of your own account till you pay a large amount of money.
Always download retail apps from legitimate sources like Google Play, Microsoft or Apple. Also, before downloading any app, ensure that you conduct a thorough research. You get information from different site or reviews to help you make the correct judgement and decisions.
5. Simple steps
Always change usernames and passwords from their settings as default. This should apply to any device that you are connected to. Choosing strong passwords is also an important safety precaution. A strong password will involve three random words that are not easily predictable and combining them with different symbols and numbers. To ensure that you are safe, always connect to a secure Wi-Fi. This will prevent hackers from gaining access to your account information. Another important security feature is to have a screen lock on your device, this will prevent unauthorized access to your device when you are not around it. By following the few simple steps outlined, you will find online shopping an easy task for you.
6. Cyber aware
Staying secure on any online platform is the most important thing today. This is because many people are usually online 24/7. Adopting simple security habits will save you from being a victim of unethical online behavior.
Conclusively, it is important to note that online shopping is one of the most common trends in the modern world. It has eased shopping activities as one doesn’t have to visit a physical vendor or seller. But it has also exposed many people to the risk of fraud. It is therefore important that maximum keenness is considered as one indulges in this activity.
[Image via: Google Images]