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Online shopping is fast becoming the norm. While once it was a reserve for a few, now anyone can shop online. The bigger the market grows, the more it is plagued by cybercrime. Hackers target where they can gain access to huge databases, and online websites are a prime target. The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns worldwide also played a significant role in online shopping growth. In 2021, here are some online threats and security and other online tips to help you make better shopping choices.
Install a VPN
Most people might not be aware of what a VPN is. A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a tool that creates a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. You can browse anonymously using a VPN as it hides your IP address and your location.
Most VPNs have several servers across large geographical areas, and you can log into any of them, throwing anyone who is monitoring you off track. A VPN encrypts all your communication and bars people from intercepting your data in transit.
Ignore suspicious messages
Phishing is a cyberattack that is used to steal data and money from your bank account. If you receive a message from an online shopping store with an attachment or a good link discount, ignore it. Go directly to the official online shop’s website and look at what they have to offer. This attachment could be malicious, and the website will try to prompt you to input your details, such as credit card details or passwords.
Use comparison tools
To make the most out of online shopping and the discounts offered, look for legit websites that offer discounts. Some apps and websites offer comparison tools. These comparison tools are dedicated to scouring the internet and compiling for you the best discounts around, from the cheapest airline flights to the cheapest household goods. Look for those sites offering discount codes that include percentage discounts, free shipping, and fixed-rate discounts.
Buy in Bulk or buy less
Buying goods in bulk gets you much better discounts and saves you a significant amount on shipping charges. Sometimes a vendor might offer free shipping from a fixed amount. For example, the store may offer to deliver at half price good worth 500 dollars, and from 1000 dollars, you get free shipping. Buying in bulk also reduces packaging waste. Rather than have several goods packaged separately, have them packaged and delivered as a single package. You can also buy less by avoiding shopping for items you do not need. If you have to, buy recyclable products.
Buy seasonal goods
Go for items that are going out of season. If you are heading out of winter and winter items are on sale, buy them and store them for use next winter. Most often, stores are looking to sell these items fast and stock for the coming season.
Online shopping is fun and convenient since all you have to do is log into a website and browse from the comfort of your couch. However, you have to be proactive to mitigate cyber-attacks and also to save yourself some money. Using comparison tools and bulk shopping, and buying seasonal goodwill save you a lot of money in the long run.