Important Online Shopping Tips to Keep You Safe

How to protect yourself when shopping online LendNation blog

Online Shopping Statistics 

With the ability to buy almost anything online, more consumers are making purchases online today than ever before. 

Recent statistics show that a significant percentage of consumers prefer to shop online because of the convenience, variety, and often better prices. However, this increase in online shopping activity also attracts more scammers and fraudulent activities aimed at unsuspecting shoppers. 

At LendNation, we are committed to helping our customers with getting the cash they need with direct loans and providing smart financial tips. The rise in online shopping is not just a trend, but a new standard. Here’s how you can protect yourself while shopping online. 

Be Careful of the “Too Good to Be True” Offers 

Scammers often attract victims with deals that seem too good to be true. Bad actors will encourage you to give in to impulse buying with these enchanting deals. It’s better to be highly skeptical of extremely low prices on usually expensive items when shopping online. 

There are unfortunately many of these “too good to be true” deals that are advertised on social media or appear through unsolicited emails. These offers can lead customers to fraudulent websites designed to steal your money and personal information. 

Make Purchases on Websites with Active SSL Certificates (HTTPS) 

Always check the URL of any website you visit. It should begin with “https” rather than just “http” (hypertext transfer protocol). The extra ‘s’ stands for secure, which means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted with an SSL certificate

This simple check can help protect your sensitive information from being stolen. Here is an example of what to look for in your web browser when shopping safely online. 

Research the Seller Before Making Purchases 

Before you buy anything, especially from new or unfamiliar websites, do some homework. Check reviews and ratings from other customers and research the seller. Sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) have scam trackers to help you see if they have been scammed, and you can review reported scams or fraudulent activities. You can also read online reviews and news articles about the business. 

Routinely Review Your Bank Accounts 

Make it a habit to look at your bank and credit card statements on a regular basis. Doing so will help you quickly detect and respond to unauthorized transactions. Most banks will let you create alerts through a mobile banking app so that you can get notified any time there is unusual activity. Staying vigilant is important to keeping your identity and personal information safe. 

Use Strong, Unique Passwords for All Online Accounts 

One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself when shopping online is using strong and unique passwords for each website. Strong passwords should have a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. 

This layer of security prevents a security breach on one site from compromising your accounts on others. You may also consider using a password manager to generate and store complex passwords to help you keep track of multiple passwords. 

Do Not Give Out Unnecessary Personal Information 

Be careful about the amount of personal information you provide when shopping online. A legitimate seller will need details necessary to complete a purchase. But any request for information beyond that—such as your Social Security number or bank PIN—is a red flag. 

Avoid Fraudulent Gift Card Exchanges 

Gift cards are a popular way to shop or give as a gift, but they are also a frequent target for scams. Avoid buying gift cards from online marketplaces that aren’t directly linked to the brand providing the gift card. These can often be fronts for scams. 

Install & Use Security Apps 

Enhance your device’s security by installing and using security apps. These can block malicious software, scan for viruses, and alert you to potentially dangerous websites or links. 

Apply for a LendNation Loan Online 

Shopping online safely is essential in today’s digital age. By following these online shopping safety tips, you can protect yourself from common scams and enjoy a secure shopping experience. Stay informed, stay secure, and shop smart. For more financial tips and resources, check out the LendNation blog