The last months are one of the best times of the year to acquire those products that are so desired for more affordable prices, taking advantage of promotions. Here in Brazil, instead of rushing to stores, consumers go to the front of the screens, plunging headlong into the frenzy of online shopping.
The only concern is the possibility of suffering blows in electronic commerce, as they tend to expand during this period. From greedy advertisers to cybercriminals with an eye on money and data, there are many dangers to be aware of.
The good news is that you can anticipate this wave in online activities by protecting yourself from phishing scams and dishonest scams * that direct the flow of digital money to swindlers, from fake apps and websites to malicious emails pretending to deliver information about orders.
To avoid these problems and the stress generated by them, follow the tips below to make shopping safer online.
- Visit only official websites
This is the most obvious tip, given all the fake websites and apps around. Download apps only from official stores and always type their URL in the address bar, to make sure you are accessing the official page you want.
You will also find that most (or all) of the official sites use https, to ensure an encrypted connection between you and them.
- Avoid phishing scams
Be wary of all emails with promotions and never click on the links in these messages, as they can lead to a phishing scam. If you find anything seductive in your inbox, follow the first tip and type the URL into your browser yourself.
- Compare prices
Before clicking on the cart to check out, open a new tab and search for the same item in other stores, to see if the price is similar. If you have never heard of a particular brand, look for similar products from famous brands and see if the prices are aligned. If the product is much cheaper than the others, you need to find out why.
Remember: when a promotion looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam, especially during special trade dates, like Black Friday.
- Stay anonymous using VPN
When you use VPN, you drive down a cyber highway in a rental car with mirrored windows. It is an encrypted connection to hide your IP address and prevent virtual predators from viewing your personal data and defining your profile.
Your access credentials, bank information and identity are protected. But be sure to select your preferred country in the VPN application, so that sites display the desired currency.
- Use an ad blocker
The above tips are for your protection, but this one is for your sanity. Certain security tools can eliminate the most stressful and tedious aspects of holiday shopping.
The use of an ad blocker saves the extra time of loading pages and the headache of being bombarded with ads, most showing products seen previously. You will be more focused, and the pages will load faster.
- Don’t store payment information
As you visit websites, especially when you close one purchase after another, you receive numerous orders to open new accounts and save your credit card information.
We strongly suggest ignoring these requests. You need to share, save and store as few personal information as possible on the internet.
- Have limit
Try to use your credit limit intelligently. A quick analysis of the card statement reveals if something went wrong there.