Online shopping is a major part of modern life, but that does not make it a safe one. If you go to the wrong sites or visit the wrong links, then you can still end up with major problems, despite not downloading or installing anything yourself.
Knowing how to shop online in complete safety is important, especially if you regularly look for niche products that can only be found on specific, little-known websites. But how can you protect yourself properly?
Use Safe Sites
This should be obvious, but many people will go to the most fringe websites to try and find niche products that are no longer in production. If you are looking for something that you can’t get easily, always check eBay or other trusted re-selling sites, rather than some shady site set up only a few months ago.
While there can be some legitimate independent sites out there, you will encounter a lot of scams if you are filtering your search results down to a specific kind of product. If you are not sure where you should be looking, then make sure to try and check major marketplaces first, just in case.
Always keep an eye out for scams, especially ones that seem too good to be true. There are always situations where a scam can start to creep up on you, especially if you are desperate for a certain item and are willing to visit almost any site to get hold of it. Extremely low prices are often a scam tactic.
Scams are not always obvious, but it is important to try and filter out the bad sites from the good. If you are even slightly suspicious of a website, then it’s a good idea to avoid putting payment details into it, no matter how much you want the products that it is offering.
Scams are not always obvious, but you should not take anything at face value until you know you can trust it. Popular sites are often mimicked by scam sites, so knowing how to spot real links can be a major tool in your arsenal when it comes to protecting yourself online.
Use a VPN
Using a VPN can help you avoid all kinds of common threats, hiding your IP from sites that might track it or try to use it against you. Not only that, but it can help you access websites that are hosted in different countries or see region-locked listings to compare prices.
When you install a VPN, you get an extra layer of privacy, helping you hide yourself from the wider internet. This can be a major boon if you want to protect your address and data, but it can also be a nice way to avoid being traced if you use sketchy or unreliable websites.
However you approach online shopping, it is important to put privacy above anything else. Even if you do not necessarily need to obtain more security, it can make a huge difference and give you a lot more freedom to shop where you feel safe.