How to avoid identity theft while shopping online


Online shopping has quickly become a lifestyle, given its convenience. Imagine browsing for items online and having them delivered right at your doorstep. That’s what online shopping has provided people, especially those who have no time to go to physical stores.

Online shopping’s popularity and uptake globally has driven retailers to capitalize on an e-commerce platform to widen their reach and grow their sales further.

And along with their shift or addition of e-commerce sites is the growing number of patrons opting to go online. However, the increase in online activities also attracts scam artists and thieves that capture and exploit personal information.

Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information to commit fraud and other crimes. Personal information includes usernames, passwords, birthdates, banking information, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, Social Security Numbers, and health IDs.

Identity thieves use your information to apply for credit, file of taxes, get medical services, or shop for loads of items. These can damage the victim’s credit status, as well as them their time and money to address the problems caused by identity thieves.

That’s why it’s critical to learn how to prevent identity theft for safe online shopping. Here are some steps to safeguard your data while you do online activities.

Keep personal data secure
Protecting yourself from identity theft start with yourself. It’s critical that you do not provide personal and sensitive data unless you are sure of the security of the site and why it requires pertinent information from you.

Learn to spot phishing scams
There are phishing scams in emails, social networking sites, and other websites, and scammers have been very creative to make them look legitimate. To make sure, copy the shady link/s to your search engine for cross-referencing. Or, as a precaution, don’t click on any links sent to you.

Make sure it’s a secure website
When submitting personal information online, you need to know for sure if you are at a secure site. To see if you’re at a secure website, check if the URL in the address bar starts with https://. Another way to check the website’s security is if there’s a lock icon next to the URL or in the bottom corner of your web browser.

Don’t shop at unknown networks
Avoid using a public network when online shopping. Using a public computer or network exposes your personal information to higher risks. You should restrict online shopping to your home computer. This allows you to shop in a safe environment where you can do regular virus checks and updates on your hardware.

Install security software
It’s good practice to install strong, up-to-date security software to protect your computer or smartphone from malicious software, which can give thieves or scammers a view of all your online actions and transactions.

Never store payment information
Don’t keep your credit card information stored in your vendor’s system even if you deem it convenient because you could face risks of compromising your data in the long run. Plus, you could save money by not storing your payment information, since entering data is time-consuming and makes you more aware of your spending and purchases.

These steps will help you protect your vital information out of harm’s way. But if you’re data is already compromised; you may need to hire a lawyer.

Data breach complaints will usually direct you to the customer service department. Hiring a lawyer will compel the business owner of the site to provide information to locate the person responsible for taking your data and prosecute them.

If you live in Sacramento, there is a long list of Sacramento identity thief lawyers available to help you get justice.

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