DPDay1Data Privacy Day is Thursday, January 28th, 2016.

For people who are very cautious about their personal information and money, online shopping seems like not such a good idea at all. But if you choose not to shop online, you are missing many great things it can offer for you.

Better relax and read the following safety tips that might be pretty handy if one day you decide to surf the internet retailing world. If you use these tips, you will avoid all cyber criminals for sure and get a chance to enjoy excellent online service as much as you want without any doubt.

Search for the little lock

One of the easiest and quickest ways to ensure yourself that you are shopping at a safe e-store is to find a small lock icon near the website’s address. This lock indicates that the site is safe, and you can bravely shop there using your credit card.

To make things more certain, look for the letter “S” at the end of site URL address too. So if you see that website’s address starts with HTTP instead of HTTPS, better reconsider if you really want to shop there. But if the site has both letter “S” and lock icon – you can be confident that you are safe to shop here.

Shop only at stores you know well and trust

Sometimes small websites might seem like a perfect place to shop because it can offer something unique and at modest pricing. But if you want to protect yourself from online fraud, I would strongly recommend you to skip shopping at unknown small stores in general.

Creating a fake website is a piece of cake for cyber criminals, and they can make it look really real in some cases as well. So better shop at brands you know well and trust. For example, e-bay, Amazon, or Target and JCPenney have pretty great websites, and brands are pretty big to protect their domain as well.

Also, be aware of misspelling as well. One wrong letter can take you to a fake e-store even if that looks exactly like a store you intended to shop at. Furthermore, beware sites using a different top-level domain, for example, .net instead of .com and so on. These sites can turn out to be fake too.

Never buy online coupons

Another thing you should keep in mind is about coupons and discounts they gift. You should never purchase a coupon online! Since coupons are in some way similar to money, copying and selling them is illegal in many States. And if you see a website that offers you to buy a coupon – never do it.

Always update your antivirus program

Sometimes you can be very aware of everything, but still lose your personal data and even ruin your personal computer! So avoid that, and prevent cyber criminals from getting into your computer by always updating your antivirus program. It is just essential if you want to shop safe and sound online from the beginning to the end.

Take notice that good and professional antivirus programs might cost a bit, so if you want to protect your computer the best, you might going to open your wallet a bit. On the other hand, there are some free programs as well, which protect your personal data pretty well and help your computer work efficiently.

Shop at home

You should always remember that any kind of public network is always less safe than your personal one at home. Public networks at your work, or even worse – at a café, are very easy to hack for cyber criminals since they usually are protected very weakly.

On the other hand, it is necessary to remind you that shopping with a public computer is even worse than shopping via a public network. All computers collect and save information about you, and a public computer is not and exception. For instance, if someone sits down after you at a computer in internet café, he can steal your information in a second.

And finally, you can’t really trust everyone in this case. Even at work, there might be some people who will use your lack of self-protection. In fact, it is pretty easy to spot your credit card numbers in public and some people even manage to guess the password you use just by looking at letters you type on your keyboard. So the logical solution to all that is to shop at home with your personal computer and with your home network protected with a strong password.

Guest post by Amber Smith, Digital Creative