Have you ever been shopping online and thought to yourself, should I really be giving this webpage my credit card info?
Well, you aren’t alone. The first thing that may have triggered this paranoia might have been the website giving off a lackluster vibe. Perhaps it was the lack of purchase-trusted symbols in the footer? Regardless of what tipped you off, it is not crazy to have such superstitions regarding purchasing stuff online. Any average Joe can build a website, list fake products, and create a field to collect card information/addresses of unsuspecting buyers.
Here are just a few of the risk factors you should consider when making purchases online.
The Safety of Your Finances
You should consider the information phishers most likely want to acquire: your credit card. Once these people have access to your card, they can then utilize it for their own purchases or to steal your hard-earned cash. It’s important that when you shop online, you only shop from trusted brands and businesses that keep your purchasing information safe and out of the way of hackers/malicious people. The process of canceling a card is already strenuous and unwanted, so do your best to be on the lookout for sites that may yield such an outcome.
The Safety of Your Home
Another piece of information these fake sites may acquire is your billing address. This information can be utilized against you by whatever means the phisher may have. Though this is unlikely to be what the phisher is after, it is still something to consider. If you plan on doing any shopping on suspicious websites, just make sure your home security system is state of the art.
What You Can Do to Prevent Shopping on Malicious Websites
The first step is to be vigilante about design. You should look for signs of professionalism on the site. These signs may come in the form of purchasing badges guaranteeing the safety of your purchase. The most prominent one to look for is the brand’s involvement on social media. The more spread out and involved a brand is on social media, the more likely it is to be reputable. A brand that does this well is Differio.com. Differio mens clothing online looks professional, involves itself on social media, and does their best to engage with their audience.
Social Media is the Power of Proof
The power of social proof gives you two things: signs that the brand is communicative and signs that other people enjoy the brand. Social media will give you the ability to recognize such credibility where it’s due. No brand that’s a scam will have the power to generate large followings that are engaging and honest. If you believe a brand’s following is fake, simply message one of the people commenting on the brand’s posts. If the user is fake, then they may not tell you because the user is a bot. However, if the person is truly passionate enough with the brand to comment, they’ll make certain you’re aware of it.
You should also understand that social media proofing doesn’t always work as the brand may have just launched. If the brand simply tries to be on these sites, they’re likely legit. Phishers won’t usually go above and beyond to externalize their scam.
With thousands of brands from stylish mens clothing to the latest electronic stores, plenty of brands joining the e-commerce scene each day, it is important that you stay ever vigilant to protect you and your information. While you’re shopping online, just remember: shop wisely and always do your research before handing over your cards!