The e-commerce industry has been growing ever since internet penetration has multiplied manifold. Earlier studies have shown that global e-commerce sales could reach USD 4.13 trillion in 2023. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are going online to search for their requirements, making their buying decisions and making purchases. It will only increase the demand for online sales and provide an additional thrust for growth.
However, the e-commerce industry would need to safeguard themselves against cybercrime that has been increasing at an alarming pace. Studies show that around 32.4% of all cybercrimes are aimed at the e-commerce industry. The repercussions of a data breach could be immense and could lead to the leaking of customer data. It is the reason that users must ensure that they take the necessary safeguards while shopping online. In this article, we will discuss some of the points you must consider for safe online shopping.
Keep your software updated.
It is necessary to keep your systems updated with the latest patch upgrades. You must have an antivirus downloaded into your computer terminal. An anti-malware software would also be helpful to you. The system software must be updated whenever the concerned updates are available. It will ensure that the vulnerabilities from the earlier versions are plugged. Keeping the antivirus and anti-malware software updated will safeguard that you are not the victim of any cybercrime.
Do not use insecure Wi-Fi.
Internet users must always keep in mind that using an insecure broadband connection or public Wi-Fi systems are dangerous. Public Wi-Fi systems are fraught with several risks. Any eavesdropper may gather information about your login credentials and can hack into your bank accounts or can undertake other fraudulent activities. In case you need to make an online purchase, you can use your mobile internet rather than use a public Wi-Fi system. You must also ensure a foolproof broadband internet connection at home that you can use to make online transactions.
Transact only with the renowned websites
Users must always transact only with renowned websites. If you move beyond the first page in the search results page, the entries in the subsequent pages may be manipulated, and you may end up at a fraudulent website. The renowned websites have proper guidelines in place and laid down workflows that a customer must undertake to carry out a successful transaction. Moreover, these websites have robust processes and your personal data, including your financial data, is safe with these businesses. Additionally, the products sold on these sites are also authenticated to be genuine and also have a return policy that is strictly adhered to.
Check out for the padlock.
Most of us only visit websites that have the padlock beside the domain name on the address bar. It acts as a filter for users so that they see only the protected sites. Businesses must ensure that they install an SSL certificate that acts as an additional security layer due to the HTTPS protocol. This protocol certifies that your browser’s communication carries out with the webserver of the e-commerce business that is encrypted. It confirms that any third-party cannot have unauthorized access to this communication. Companies with several first-level sub-domains must Install a Wildcard SSL certificate which you can get from SSL2BUY that will act as a one-stop-shop for all the security needs.
Make use of two-factor authentication.
Most of the e-commerce websites will require you to register yourself at the site. But before registering at the site, you must check whether it allows two-factor authentication. It will act as another layer of security for your password to the e-commerce account. Through this process, the mobile number associated with your device will be tagged to your account, and a one-time code will be sent to your number. You have to enter this number for access to your account additionally.
Use strong passwords
Users must have strong passwords for all their accounts, including e-commerce accounts. When creating the account, you must provide a password that adheres to the password best practices. Most e-commerce businesses will allow you to create a password that adheres to these rules, but you should keep this in
Users must also ensure that they change their passwords at regular intervals. Ideally, they must change their passwords every two to three months. It will reduce the chances of a data breach. If you feel difficulty in remembering the password, you can take the help of a password manager.
Be careful when clicking on links.
If you wish to shop online, always be wary of the links you click on to enter the site. There may be several emails informing you about discounts and other loyalty discounts. You must check the antecedents of these emails before taking any action. Cybercriminals take advantage of phishing emails to take you to a fraudulent website to undertake malicious activities. These sites look exactly like the original site and will request you to enter your login details. Always check the URL of the links that you are clicking. If you have any doubt, always call up the customer care department for confirmation.
Consider safer payment options.
As a customer, you must know that direct debit options are risky for undertaking online payments.
Similarly, it would help if you stayed away from using your debit card. Instead, you must use your credit cards to do online shopping. They have better safeguards in case anything goes wrong. You may also take the help of third-party services like wallets for making the payments. These services do not store your financial details, thereby making your financial information out of bounds for any hacker.
As the e-commerce industry grows exponentially, the industry is also facing attacks by hackers. The reason is that cybercriminals can gather a large volume of data through a single data breach. Users must only visit HTTPS websites, which is why businesses must install an SSL certificate to enthuse a sense of trust in their customers. Users must also ensure they undertake various safeguards for the safety of their personal information while shopping online. We have discussed some of the essential points in this article that can prevent online shopping fraud.