7 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

7 Tips for Safe Online Shopping

According to the Eco survey, German internet shoppers already have a high level of security awareness. Nevertheless, it is worth checking your own knowledge from time to time.

When the Christmas shopping season begins on Black Friday, the majority of online shoppers already seem to pay sufficient attention to security. According to a survey by the internet association eco, 38.1 percent of consumers consider it important, for example, that a store offers different payment methods. Encrypted data transmission, indicated by the abbreviation https:// and a lock symbol in the web browser, is important to 36.4 percent. These are the results of a survey of 1,019 online shoppers conducted by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of eco.

“Even in bargain-hunting fever, customers should only buy from trustworthy retailers,” says eco Board Member for IT Security Prof. Norbert Pohlmann. “This can be seen, for example, in the fact that the store is recommended by others. A secure and encrypted connection to the website and secure payment methods also indicate a reputable retailer.”

Pohlmann gives these 7 tips for safe online shopping:

1) Only buy from trustworthy stores. You can recognize this by

* a detailed and correct legal notice with the provider’s full contact details
* seals of approval or certificates from independent test centers that confirm the quality and safety of the store
* positive reviews and testimonials from other customers, which you can find on various platforms or portals, and
* a secure connection, recognizable by the lock symbol and the https protocol in the address bar of your browser.

2) Be skeptical of overly tempting offers. You should be suspicious of conspicuously low prices. Fake stores deal in counterfeit or stolen goods or offer goods that do not exist and will never be delivered. Avoid such traps by always comparing prices with other stores and looking out for unrealistic discounts or bait offers. If an offer is too cheap to be true, you should become suspicious. The consumer advice center can also help you determine whether a store is known to be a fake store.

3) Use a secure payment method, such as a credit card. Here you are protected by the so-called chargeback procedure. This means that in the event of a dispute with the retailer, you can reclaim the purchase amount via your credit card provider – for example, if you have not received the goods or they do not match the description. PayPal and Klarna are also secure payment methods. You should avoid insecure payment methods such as advance payment by bank transfer.

4) Keep an eye on your accounts and credit card statements if you have used this payment method online. This is the only way you can immediately identify and complain about any unauthorized or incorrect debits.

5) Protect your personal data. When shopping online, always pay attention to what personal information you transmit to the store and how it is stored and processed. Only enter the data that is necessary to process your order. All other data, in particular additional passwords, PINs or TANs, are not requested by reputable stores and should not be disclosed.

6) Use secure passwords. Passwords are the key to your online account. Therefore, choose strong passwords that consist of at least 12 characters and contain upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Also use a different password for each store. A password manager is recommended for remembering passwords. This generates secure passwords for you and stores them securely.

7) Use two-factor authentication if it is offered. Two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step authentication (2SA) is an additional security measure that many online retailers offer to make unauthorized access to customer accounts more difficult. With 2FA, for example, you have to enter a code in addition to your password, which is sent to you by text message or email.