In 2017, statistics have it that e-commerce was responsible for about 2.3 trillion dollars in sales. This is a marked increase from previous years, and the figure will only go up. Cyber-attacks, however, are also at an all-time high. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that e-commerce websites are going to be a focus of cyber-attacks in the future. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop shopping online. It only means you need to be more careful when doing so. Here are some tips that can help:
Only use familiar websites.
You should only shop on familiar e-commerce websites for several reasons. First of all, known websites have a track record, and are unlikely to be a front for stealing personal data. Even if you step away from the topic of cybersecurity for a while, shopping with a familiar online retailer can improve your shopping experience. You already know when to get the best deals.
Also, known brands are targets of cyber-attacks, which means they will have tighter security than unknown brands. You can’t be too safe when it comes to online transactions.
Verify their security.
Online retailers take their shoppers’ security very seriously, and that’s why they invest lots of money into making sure your information is guarded. However, all of that goes down the toilet if you shop at the wrong store. You should never buy from a website that doesn’t have a secure sockets layer (SSL).
You can tell if a website has one by the padlock that appears on your browser’s address bar. Also, verify the merchant before you make a purchase. If it’s one you don’t recognize, you may be better off buying from a website with a merchant you do recognize. You can log on here to find out about more payment merchants.
Keep an eye on your statements.
Sometimes, hackers get a hold of your information, regardless of how well you protect it. When that happens, you may not find out until the end of the month. You should check your statements regularly, not just at the end of the month. Keep an eye out for suspicious transactions and purchases you don’t remember making. If it’s suspicious, investigate it, even if it’s from trusted payment websites like Venmo and PayPal.
Use a strong password.
Sometimes, people create strong passwords only because the website won’t let them use anything else. Some people are perfectly happy using birthdays and pet names as their passwords. Not only is this lazy, but it can also make you very vulnerable to hacks. Even if you only use trusted websites, you should create strong passwords that are hard to guess. Here are some tips for creating strong passwords:
- Make it long. The recommended length is eight characters, but the longer your password is, the harder it is to guess.
- Mix letters with numbers and special characters.
- If you’re going to write it down, hide it. Many people find it difficult to remember passwords. If you’re going to write it down, keep the paper in a place that’s difficult to reach.