Online shopping is a great way to find the best deal on various items. The convenience of being able to go online and buy just about anything has made e-commerce a growing trend in our economy.

However, there are some drawbacks to online shopping. When looking for the greatest bargain on anything from food to apparel, here are 5 things you need to remember when shopping online:

1. Use Strong Passwords & an SSO Solution

A strong password would contain numbers, upper and lower case characters, symbols, and is at least 8 characters long. It’s also important that you use different passwords on each website or application that holds personal information. By doing this, if one site is compromised then the intruder would not have access to your entire life.

An SSO (single sign-on) solution can help with password management when online shopping. With an SSO, you can use one login to access multiple websites. This way, you only need to remember one password.

An SSO solution also provides an extra layer of security. When you log in to a website using your SSO credentials, the website will verify your identity with the SSO provider. If you are using a weak password, or if your password has been compromised, the SSO provider can help to protect your information by locking your account.

2. Take Advantage of 2-Step Verification

The best SSO systems not only allow you to use the same password but also provide multi-factor authentication (MFA). MFA adds another layer of security to your accounts such as a password and then requires another authentication such as a text message or an app on your phone.

Most online shopping sites now provide some sort of security to their customers in the form of 2-step verification (also known as two-factor authentication). It usually works by sending a push notification to your phone when you log in, requiring you to enter a code before you can access your account. This extra step deters hackers because they would also need your personal device to be able to get into your account.

3. Use Incognito Mode or Other Private Browsing Options

Most browsers have a private or incognito mode. In this mode, the browser clears all cookies and temporary internet files when you exit out of it. This ensures that your history cannot be tracked by anyone who uses the same computer as you do.

It’s also important to log out of any account after finishing your online shopping. You can also clear your cookies and history manually by going to the “History” menu and selecting “Clear Recent History”. This ensures that whoever uses your computer next cannot find out what you have been looking at online.

4. Be On the Lookout for Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the top ways hackers get access to your personal information. It usually works by sending an email to you which appears to come from a legitimate source (i.e. your bank). The email will usually instruct you to click on a link, or download something that will give them access to your computer.

These emails are often made to look like they’re coming from sources such as FedEx, UPS, PayPal, etc., so it’s important to hover over links and check the address bar to ensure it is going to a legitimate source (i.e. paypal.com, not somethingsimilarpaypal.com).

5. Remember http:// is Not Secure

In 2014, Google made https:// the default way of accessing all websites that use/have login forms. This means that anything that is not https:// will be unsecured and anyone can access your information as it’s sent across the internet. 

A good way to know if a website is secure is by checking the beginning of the web address (the “s” after http://). If it is there, then your information will be secure and if it’s not there, you should avoid the site.

Keep Your Business Protected

When it comes to online shopping, businesses must be aware of the dangers of having employees with unsafe habits. An employee with unsafe online shopping habits can easily compromise the security of a business.

For example, an employee who is browsing the internet for non-work-related items on a work computer can easily infect the computer with malware. This malware can then be used to steal information or to scam customers.

Cybersecurity is a huge issue for businesses. ThrottleNet can help you protect your business with our cybersecurity services including malware prevention training for employees and customers alike.

Contact us today to learn more.