You can’t deny the appeal of vintage products. They add a charming flair to your home or your wardrobe.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, buying products online has increased and has never been easier. However, when you buy products off the Internet or certain apps, you need to know how to stay safe online. You do not want sensitive information like your credit card number compromised.
Don’t feel afraid: buying products online is not unsafe. There are ways to stay cautious while shopping online. Check out this guide for tips to stay safe online.
Look for the Website’s SSL Lock
The SSL lock is an important security feature websites can use to secure their website. SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” for encryption.
You can identify if a website has SSL encryption or not based on the little lock icon in the website address bar. If the lock looks locked, then the website is encrypted and secure. You can go ahead and make purchases on it, especially when looking for vintage items like a vintage computer.
Check Your Computer’s Firewall and Antivirus Settings
Keeping your computer’s firewall and antivirus settings up-to-date is important to stay safe online. If everything is working well, your computer should be able to notify you if anyone tries to hack in or if your connection is compromised.
If you don’t have firewall or antivirus programs installed on your program, install them before you buy anything online.
Only Use Websites You Know
It is always better to shop on websites you know and have used before. You can always count on Amazon, Etsy, and other similar sites to have measures in place to protect you.
That said, there are plenty of other retailers and merchandisers that you use. With new websites, take caution, and make sure you vet their site before making any purchases.
Never Buy via Email
Never purchase anything via email. If someone is asking you to hand over sensitive information such as your credit card or other financial information, it is a scam. You may find yourself out of a lot of money if you send anyone your financial information via email.
This is one of the ways you can have your information compromised. If you are buying over email from a friend, ask them if there is an alternate way you can send them money for their product.
Pay by Credit Card and Keep a Trail
If you can, always pay by credit card. Using a debit card may feel convenient, but if someone steals your debit card’s information, you will have a harder time shutting it down.
Debit cards link directly to your financial account. With credit cards, they don’t connect to your financial accounts and have spending limits.
Save your receipts and purchase information in a safe place. Whether that’s a document on your computer, or whether you print it out and keep it in a safe place, it will help you stay organized.
Never Use Public WiFi When Shopping
Public wifi is what it says it is: public. Your personal information is more easily stolen over public networks. You should avoid online shopping while using public wifi.
If you need to buy something while using public wifi, consider using a VPN or instead investing in a mobile hotspot device to use in public. Those are your best choices for protecting your personal and financial information.
Don’t Let a Website Save Your Information for Later
A website will often ask if they can save your payment information for later, assuming you may purchase other products of their site. While this might seem ideal, you should never let a website save your information.
This leaves your information unprotected and vulnerable to sinister entities. It is better to enter your information every time. You can stay safe online by doing this.
Create Strong Passwords
You know that same password you’ve been using for almost every website since it’s the only one you can remember? Unfortunately, that won’t cut it when it comes to you needing to stay safe online.
Creating strong passwords keeps your information secure. It makes it less likely your information will be compromised. Those complicated passwords are great for protecting you and your financial information.
Avoid Deals and Bargains From Social Media
Facebook, Instagram, and other social media are fun to scroll. They have algorithms fine-tuned to show you advertisements you are interested in: some of those advertisements offer great deals and bargains on certain vintage products online.
While these deals may seem great, they are often at the heart of a scam. Facebook and other social media websites do a lot to monitor and remove these scams, but they do not catch all of them.
If you are going to following through on a deal or bargain from social media, make sure you vet the website it is taking you to. Besides, you don’t want to hand over personal information just by clicking on the link.
Stay Safe Online with These Tips
Using these tips, you can ensure that you stay safe online. After all, in early 2020 the Federal Trade Commission reported an increase to 1.7 million cases of fraud in the United States from 2019. It is more important now than ever to protect your information online.
Vintage products are available on an abundance of websites online. However, if you are not taking steps to keep your sensitive information private, you may not ever receive the product you want.
Want to know more about how to stay safe online and when using technology? Check out the rest of our website for more!