What you should consider before shopping online

Whether it's the Christmas sales or a birthday present, a new outfit or groceries: more and more people use the Internet to shop online and get their purchases delivered at home. Almost every store these days also offer their services online, allowing us to shop any time of the day and get exactly what we want.

This is certainly very simple and practical. But there are some precautions you should keep in mind to protect your privacy and your confidential information so as not to lose the joy of buying on the Internet.

What you should consider before shopping online:

1. Check the Wi-Fi

It is very important to have a secure wireless environment, not only in online banking, but also when shopping online.

Without the protection and encryption of a password, hackers could also use the network and intercept your data. A VPN solution provides more security, especially with public Wi-Fi in airports or in cafes, it is easy for hackers to redirect traffic from your laptop or smartphone and use it for dubious or criminal purposes.

2. Open a new browser window

By opening a new browser window before accessing the online store and start buying, preferably in private mode, will prevent you from taking over the configuration of previous purchases. Then your customer profile will not contain too much detail and the cookies will not be saved. You can find this mode in the browser settings. It is called "Incognito mode" in Google Chrome and "Private browsing" in Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

3. Verify the security features of the provider's website

When ordering, look for the security features that are displayed in different ways in all browsers. The abbreviation "https" before the address entered: the "s" in it indicates that all data can be encrypted and cannot be viewed or manipulated. This is especially important for personal information, such as the billing address or bank details. The small padlock shows the validity of a certificate in many browsers. The independent certification authorities verify if the website operator actually exists.

4. Pay attention to customer reviews

When you place an order for the first time in a new online store, you should pay attention to customer reviews. Often, the store itself has a section with comments. But it is also important to look for the provider in other sites, review portals or Google. Meanwhile, many companies write their own reviews or hire agencies to obtain the most favorable reviews possible. With a bit of time and patience, however, that can be checked if you look at the evaluator profile for particularly good reviews, for example, the number of written reviews, reactions and activity.

5. Check the information on the store's website

Check if the selected store has terms and conditions, information about the right of return and an imprint. Contact details via telephone or e-mail should also be indicated. Online shops must also provide a VAT identification number and all the costs for ordering (shipping, return). 

When you shop online, you should also consider:

1. Create a separate password for each online store

Yes, we already have too many passwords and it is difficult to remember them all. However, make sure your password is as complex as possible for each website. If someone tries to hack your account, it will only affect one account.

Did you know that “12345” is one of the most common passwords and at the same time the most insecure?

2. Check prices

Everyone likes a good bargain, but a new iPhone for 30 euros?  You should consider carefully if the price is realistic for the product offered. Especially in stores that try for the first time. Read again exactly what description of the article says and what the offer includes. Is it just a box or a plagiarism?

3. Logout

You have found the item you want and finished your purchases? Super! Excellent! Now please don’t forget to log out and close the session! If you were in normal instead of incognito mode, delete the browser history including cookies.

Of course, there are many other things that also should be considered when shopping online. The most important, but also the simplest, is a VPN.

With the ChillGlobal VPN for Firefox or Google Chrome, you can protect yourself when you are surfing the Internet and not sure that your Wi-Fi connection is secure.

In addition, ChillGlobal does not store data, meaning it will not be reused and that you are absolutely safe and anonymous whilst on the Internet. Unlike many other add-ons or programs, ChillGlobal is easy to install and use. There is no technical expertise necessary; we like to keep things simple. And did you know, ChillGlobal also works to stream television abroad?

We offer you a FREE use of 20 HOURS per MONTH (register here with your e-mail address). Should you need more time, you can choose between one of our different packages.

Happy shopping!

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