Tips for Keeping Your Information Safe When Shopping Online
Nothing beats online shopping for convenience, but shoppers should be wary of the sites and stores they trust with their personal information.
With identity theft at an all-time high — affecting a total of 15.4 million Americans in 2016 — Android users are right to be cautious when purchasing items online. While the convenience of online centers such as Amazon is unrivaled by brick and mortar stores, the threat of credit card theft looms over every unsecured Internet purchase. In order to protect your Android from penetrating your purchases and websites, activate the anti-hacking feature:
It’s important to use anti-hacking to protect your personal information from being stolen. In the wrong hands, your checkout information will not only allow hackers to use your account funds, but it can also allow them to open credit cards in your name and steal your identity. To further avoid this threat, make sure to always rely on trusted retailers and to check your accounts regularly for fraudulent purchases.
Check the Retailer
When purchasing clothes, electronics, or household items online, be sure to rely on familiar websites. While unknown sites may claim to offer lower prices or free shipping, oftentimes these offers are attempts to entice customers and steal their bank account information. If you are purchasing from a third-party Amazon or eBay retailer, be sure to read through customer reviews before entering credit card information. In addition, only order goods from websites with SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption. These websites will feature a lock symbol in the address bar and a URL that begins with “HTTPS.”
Protect Your Information
When inputting information during a purchase, only provide the information that is strictly necessary for each purchase. Retailers should never ask for a Social Security number or even the last 4 digits of your SSN. In addition, many retailers only require several fields during checkout, as necessary. In these cases, only provide the information deemed strictly necessary. Purchases should also never be made over an unsecured Wi-Fi network, only over secure personal networks. Use different passwords for each online shopping account, and never allow retailers to store checkout information, especially credit card numbers.
Be Smart with Accounts
After purchasing an item online, be sure to check your bank accounts regularly, rather than waiting for a statement at the end of the month. Check for fraudulent purchases made from your accounts, and report purchases that you don’t recognize immediately. Additionally, always use credit cards when purchasing online. Fraudulent charges made with a credit card can be disputed and reversed, but those made with debit cards, checks, or money orders can never be returned.