What's easier than finding a great place for all your shopping? Doing it online! If there is one activity that has completely consumed our contemporary culture, online shopping is most certainly it. People all over the world use their smart phones, tablets, and laptops to get almost all of their shopping completed with just a click of a finger. Online shopping can solve most of the problems associated with traditional brick and mortar stores: with its almost endless inventory, 'round the clock availability, and virtual location (no car ride needed), shopping the web can help you find exactly what you need, when you need it, without having to exert much effort or pay much money.
That said, hacking, scams, and identity theft have all made online security a hot topic in recent months – and potential customers wary. In order to ensure that you and your information remain safe, we've provided these three important tips to keep in mind while you shop for clothes online:
- Always double-check, then triple-check before clicking a link delivered to you in an e-mail – Can't wait to buy that new sweater that you got an e-mail about for 60% off? Make sure that the e-mail is from a site you know first! Otherwise, you could be playing straight into a "phishing" scheme, in which shoppers who click through are led to a false site developed to steal their data. If the deal is too good to pass up, enter the website name by hand into your browser and check it out beforehand.
- Know the source of your apps! – For safe online shopping, make sure to download your apps from a trusted source, such as the Android Market, the Apple Store or the Amazon App Store. When you download the app, it will ask for permission in several ways. Make sure to read everything over thoroughly and that all of the information makes sense to you; for instance, should an app for online shopping require access to your contact list or Facebook page? Another way to check if an app is legitimate is to read through the comments in the feedback section and check out the general ratings. If you see low ratings and mentions of scams, avoid that app!
- There's no place like home for safe online shopping – Remember that a secure network connection, like the one in your home or office, is going to be the best possible place for online shopping. Try to avoid using public Wi-Fi locations such as the local coffee shop, as these places are some of the most commonly hacked. All it takes is someone with the right skills to expose your passwords, and obtain personal billing information and other private data such as your social security number. If you are using a public connection, try to hold off on making actual purchases until you're home. Use the "add to cart" button and resist following through with the transaction until you're in a safe, secure network.