How to Buy Stuff Online Safely and Securely

Apr 27, 2021 | Lifestyle

Most people assume that individuals get into debt because they borrow more than they can afford to pay back. But, there are other reasons why some folks end up broke. One sad example is getting scammed out of money through the simple act of buying online.

The ugly truth about Internet shopping is that many unscrupulous individuals are more than happy to obtain other people’s hard-earned money fraudulently. When that happens, getting your money back can often be a nightmare and a long, drawn-out process.

Many people do eventually recover funds stolen from them. However, they have to involve their banks, credit card companies, and the police in the process. Plus, because it’s such a widespread problem, there’s no guarantee you’ll get your money back soon – if at all.

If you want to avoid such issues from happening to you, and you don’t want to end up penniless because someone hacked into your online banking account and cleaned out your money, the following tips will help you buy stuff online safely and securely.

1.  Store your money in several sources

Are you someone that keeps all their money in their checking account? If so, it’s time to change that habit. It might seem like a convenient option to you, but it also raises the likelihood of losing all your hard-earned cash to a cybercriminal.

It’s easy to segment your money into different online (and offline) sources. For example, you could buy Dogecoin and keep some money as cryptocurrency in an online wallet. Or, you could open up an instant access savings account with another bank.

You might also wish to keep some of your money as cash inside a safe hidden somewhere in your home. The possibilities are endless, but one thing’s for sure: you should never keep all your money in a single source, such as your bank’s checking account.

2.  Use virtual debit cards

Some forward-thinking banks let you create “virtual” debit cards for electronic use only; i.e., you can only use them for online transactions. Those virtual cards get linked to your checking account.

If you discover that one of your virtual debit card numbers got compromised, you could merely block it and create a new one. Alternatively, you could create a new virtual debit card each time you want to buy something online.

3.  Change all your online financial passwords

One way that cybercriminals gain access to people’s financial accounts online is through brute-force attacks. In a nutshell, this is where they try to log into accounts using different passwords until they discover the correct one.

Make it harder for those cybercriminals to guess your passwords by changing them to long, obscure ones that involve a mixture of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, and avoid using obvious words like “password” or “letmein.”

4.  Use two-factor authentification

Lastly, some websites where you conduct financial transactions, such as your bank or online retailers, allow you to enable two-factor authentication. It allows you to have a text message sent to your phone, and you must enter the code in the message during your login.

The advantage of two-factor authentication is that cybercriminals must have access to your login details and your mobile phone before they can access your account. Knowing just the username and password is not enough to log in.

best,

– a contributed post

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