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5 recommendations for online shopping

Shopping online is part of our daily lives. We have plenty of options to buy products of all kinds through platforms such as Amazon. It is an alternative to physical commerce. In addition, in many occasions we can find great deals and even exclusive products. However, it is essential to take certain precautions and not make mistakes. Therefore, in this post, we tell you some recommendations for online shopping and not get ripped off.

What can happen if you get scammed while shopping online? They could steal your passwords, bank details, sell you a fake product, or it may not reach you at all. Although shopping online is generally safe, there are exceptions, and it also depends on what precautions you take.

Tips for online shopping

We have seen many cases of websites that turn out to be fake. Also, products that don’t arrive or bank account thefts due to carelessness. But don’t worry, as protecting yourself is easier than you might think. The most important thing is not to make mistakes. With that, you will have a lot to gain from your online shopping.

Protect your passwords

The first thing you should do is to protect your accounts. To do this, it is essential to use good passwords. It is the main barrier that will prevent intruders. You are going to protect your bank accounts, platforms such as Amazon, email, etc. Here you can not get confused, as it is key. How should a good password be? Ideally, it should be unique and totally random. Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and other special symbols. This will help you avoid brute force attacks and easy guessing. This is something that can happen if you use your name, date of birth, etc.

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To remember all the passwords of the different services, you always have the possibility of using a password manager. You can resort to the one integrated in web browsers such as Chrome and Firefox that have synchronization between devices. It is also possible to use a specific password manager where we have all our credentials of the different online services. It is very important to have a good password management.

There are also specific password managers or administrators for this task. That is, instead of using the built-in password managers of the web browser, we can use those of these programs. Some programs are paid. However, there are others that are completely free, although with limitations. Depending on your needs, you can opt for ones that are more advanced and with cross-platform support, or others that are hosted by you on a NAS server. For example, Vaultwarden is software that can be installed via Docker on a NAS server. In addition, this server will be in charge of storing all our passwords. This in order to have the maximum possible security and prevent hacking of the most popular programs such as KeePass among many others.

Check the website

Of course, when you are going to buy something on a website it is essential that you check it out. You can look at the general appearance of that site, but also look for information on the Internet. For example, you could read comments and ratings from other users who have previously purchased and thus rule out scams. Buying from a guaranteed site is very important. Platforms like Amazon, for example, are reliable. But there are many other pages that may generate doubts or even websites that have been falsified to defraud.

Whenever we get into a website to buy, look very well at the domain of the website. In fact, it could be a domain similar to the original, and that is specifically designed to scam you. These types of attacks are more common than you think, and usually come through email, social networks and even SMS. You should never let yourself be fooled.

Use reliable payment methods

The way you pay on the Internet is essential to avoid risks in e-commerce. Our advice is to use reliable payment methods that have guarantees. For example, you can use services such as PayPal. Also, the use of disposable cards or wallets is a good idea. Ideally, you should not use your main bank card. After all, the less you expose it on the Internet, the better to avoid cyberattacks. Many banks offer the possibility of using virtual cards, which you can recharge with a specific amount and that’s it.

Some neobanks allow the creation of single-use virtual cards. That is to say, to pay once and that number will never be available again. In addition, they also allow the creation of multi-use virtual cards. Their objective is to create an online payment card, and when we make the payment, we automatically freeze the card.

Protect your device

It is important to have your device protected, whether it is your computer or your cell phone. For example, you should install a good antivirus. There are many options, both free and paid. This type of program will help you protect yourself. In addition to detecting any attempt of malicious software that can sneak in. If you use an operating system such as Windows, Microsoft Defender is more than enough to protect your computer from threats, and thanks to the operating system’s own firewall, it will prevent unauthorized connections from being made.

In addition, protecting your device also means keeping it up to date. It is essential that you install the latest versions and avoid problems. There are many cases in which a vulnerability may appear, so correcting it will be the key to shopping with greater security. Updates both in the operating system and in the different programs is something fundamental to be protected.

Beware of public networks

It is not advisable to shop online through public Wi-Fi networks. For example, you should not do it in places such as an airport, a shopping mall, library. In reality, you don’t really know if that network is reliable. Besides, there could be intruders who steal your bank details or intercept the transaction. If you have no choice but to make a purchase from public networks, our advice is to use a VPN. This type of program will encrypt the connection. Everything you do on the Internet will be protected and, in the event of intruders, they will not be able to access the data. If you don’t want to spend money on a commercial VPN, you can use free but reliable services. Below, we will look at two free VPN services:

  • WARP by Cloudflare: this VPN service is totally free. Furthermore, it has no limits of any kind, although download and upload speed restrictions are likely to apply. This VPN is perfect for secure browsing. However, it is not useful for bypassing regional blocks because it will always connect to the nearest VPN server.
  • Google One VPN: this service is totally free for Google One subscribers, regardless of which plan they have contracted. Initially, only plans with a capacity of 2 TB or more were able to contract it. However, it is now possible to access this interesting option with any plan.

We do not recommend using other types of free VPNs. Indeed, they will probably not protect your data correctly. It is also possible that they do not decrypt the traffic once it has passed through their VPN servers. It is very important that you always choose a reliable service. If you have the possibility of installing an OpenVPN or WireGuard server in your home, all the better. This way, you will have unlimited traffic and it will be as if you were connecting from your home.

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