Online shopping continues to skyrocket in popularity across the USA, with as many as 25% of Americans shopping online at least once a month. Gone are the days where you had to make your way to the nearest large mall or comic book convention in order to get your hands on the latest Doctor Who merchandise or Dungeons & Dragons memorabilia. Now, all it takes are a few clicks of a button to order your geeky treasures from the comfort of your own home. While online shopping technology is undoubtedly a heaven-sent, it is also the playground of malicious cyber crooks that can cause significant damage if the proper security measures aren’t taken. Thankfully, there are a number of precautions that online shoppers can take to ensure that the experience is as secure and stress-free as possible.
Only shop on secure websites
When browsing online for the perfect additions to your comic book collection, be sure to verify that the site you are on is both legit and secure. Online shopping giants such as Amazon and eBay may be trustworthy enough, but that does not mean there aren’t a host of dubious sites on the web. While there are many ways to validate a site, the easiest way is to look for ‘https’ at the start of a site’s web address. Https is basically http with encryption, making the former substantially more secure than the latter. This is because https makes use of TLS (SSL) to further encrypt typical http responses and requests. Apart from making sure the site you are on is secure, only conduct online transactions when you are making use of a trusted Network. If your Wi-Fi connection is secure, it becomes a lot easier to keep your sensitive information safe.
Update your software
If you want to find the coolest Star Wars or Game of Thrones T-shirts online without having to worry about falling victim to a cyber-attack, you need to ensure that your software is up to date. While it is obviously important to have up-to-date antivirus software installed on your devices, it is equally as important to make sure that all the software relating to your operating system and individual programs are also updated. More often than not, software updates are released with the primary purpose of improving security and warding off cyber-attacks. While it may be frustrating to watch the updates running on your PC or laptop, it will be well worth it when you can shop free of worry.
Don’t save your credit card information
Even if you buy your Magic: The Gathering or Yu-Gi-Oh! trading cards from the same online store everything, it is in your best interest to refrain from saving your credit card details. In order to decrease online fraud, many card issuers, as well as third-party companies, have started to issue virtual credit cards that can only be used for a single transaction. The cards are randomly generated and can render online shoppers’ experience significantly more secure. At present, Capital One, Citibank, and Bank of America all offer virtual credit card facilities to their clients. The limitations imposed on each virtual credit card depend on not only the type of card but also the issuer although most providers do allow their clients to set spending limits according to their own needs.
Online shopping has made it very easy to obtain what you want without having to leave your couch. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you can shop to your heart’s content without having to worry about having your online security compromised.
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