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The internet has revolutionized the way we shop. Consumers find it more convenient to buy things online. The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns only drove more people to do their shopping — almost exclusively — online. But even before the coronavirus pandemic, many people still preferred to shop online over going to a brick-and-mortar store.
This article covers smart online shopping tips to help online shoppers stay safe when buying stuff online and save some money in the process. Read on to learn more.
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Shopping online has undeniable advantages, but it does come with one major downside; cybersecurity. With ecommerce sales predicted to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, the online retail industry is booming. This apparent success has caught cybercriminals' attention, who are increasingly coming up with innovative ways to scam naïve online shoppers out of their hard-earned cash.
Here are a few tips to keep your money and personal data safe when shopping online.
Shop from Reputable Vendors
Cybercriminals will go to great lengths to get their hands on user data and money. There are fake online shopping sites out there set up for this very purpose. These are often random online stores promising enormous discounts and low prices. These sites are devised to steal your credit card data and inject malware into your device. Stick to reputable vendors to stay safe.
Don't Get Phished
Phishing is the most popular form of attack that cybercriminals use to steal data and money from unsuspecting shoppers. In a phishing attack, scammers will send you an email with a link or an attachment pretending to be an online site you frequent. When you click on either, you end up unleashing malware on your device.
Use a VPN
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) refers to an online security service that routes your connection through a secure tunnel. It encodes your internet traffic and hides your location to ensure privacy and security when shopping online. VPNs ensure that nobody can intercept your data or steal your submitted payment details, especially when connected to a public Wi-Fi network.
Online stores offer lower prices than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. That's because there are no middlemen, the products come to the consumer directly from the seller or manufacturer. However, prices vary from one vendor to another and just because you're buying online doesn't mean you are getting the best price. Here's how to get the best prices when shopping online.
Buy in Bulk
Instead of buying several items from one store on separate occasions, choose more items and have the vendor package them together and ship them as a single package. Buying in bulk helps you get better discounts, reduces package waste, and saves you quite some money in shipping costs.
Use Comparison Tools
Use online price comparison tools to get the best bargain when shopping online. Some price comparison sites offer discount codes to help you take advantage of available discounts. There are dozens of legit free comparison tools and sites you can use to save some money when shopping online.
Online shopping allows consumers to shop from the comfort of their homes. It's cheaper, convenient, and due to the ongoing pandemic, safer to shop online in 2021. However, be sure to use these tips to protect your data from cybercriminals and make some savings when shopping online.