The internet over years has served humanity in diverse forms. The advantages cannot be over-emphasized. However, the internet is also very risky these days, especially in the area of online shopping. A lot of people have been scammed; there have been issues of identity theft, hacking and virus infliction.
The consumers have been the most affected in this entire cyber problem. But most of it is common mistakes made by consumers which ruin their computer or invite identity theft.
One of the online shopping blunders is customers assuming their security software is protecting them. This should mostly be the case; however, security software can only be fully effective when it is activated and constantly updated. Although, most software regularly updates itself but not all; endeavour to manually update them. If you just purchased a new computer that is bundled with security software, endeavour to pay up the subscription as this may expire within weeks of usage. Ensure to renew your subscription when the software alerts you and make sure that your security software is active anytime you are online.
Do not always access any of your financial account records through an email link. These days’ scammers send spam messages to customers email address with a link to update their bank account details or credit card details. The links directs the customer to a prototype website that looks like the original site. If you follow this link and put your details such as account number and password, a cyber criminal could use these details to steal from you or empty your bank account. If an email requests you to update your account details and password, do not fall for this trick but rather go directly to the financial institution’s web address.
Try to be very flexible with the usage of password for all your online accounts. Research has shown that over nine percent of users of internet at home maintain and use one single password for all their accounts. This is a very dangerous practice, the exposure of your password to anyone could mean that your identity could be stolen and access to all your accounts equally. The solution to this is by using variation of password rather than using a single password. You can equally use the same password but mix with upper casing, numbers, symbols or punctuations marks. Limit the way you download free software to your computer. By constantly downloading screen savers or smileys, your system may be infected with spyware package with the freebies which will in-turn slower your computer. Ensure that free wares are from reputable websites like download.com. Also ensure to have spyware blocker installed on your computer. Install a windows defender on your computer to regularly scan your PC for threats. Avoid clicking on a pop-up advertisement that will tell you that your PC is unsecured. Clicking on these pop-ups sometimes takes you to a website with spywares and hence, inflicts your system with spyware or even has malware downloaded on your PC. If a pop-up should appear on your computer with this error, endeavour to close it by clicking the X at the top right corner of the pop-up window.
Lastly, understand that there is a difference between shopping online and shopping in a store. You have to be careful when shopping online. Do not put your card details where the address in the address bar is not starting with https://. Ultimately, ensure the site has a physical address and a good telephone contact.
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