Online shopping brings huge convenience into our lives with access to every product imaginable at our fingertips. However, it also attracts cybercriminals looking to scam shoppers in sneaky ways. As ecommerce grows rapidly across India, it becomes critical to understand how we can protect personal details and money.
This article will guide novice Indian shoppers on maintaining security while enjoying favorite retail apps and sites. Let’s explore smart online purchasing protocols together!
Stick to Reputable Sites & Apps
The first rule is only create accounts and enter payment info on established ecommerce platforms trusted by millions of fellow Indians. Well-known examples include Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Ajio, Swiggy, BigBasket, and Tata 1Mg.
Research any new site before purchasing to ensure legitimate registration, contact info, security measures, and customer reviews indicating safe experiences.
Create Unique, Complex Passwords
Every online shopping account should have a unique password between 10-14 characters mixing capital/small letters, numbers, and symbols. Using the same password across multiple sites makes it easy for hackers to gain access if it ever leaks.
Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) which adds mobile text/email confirmation to protect accounts too.
Avoid Public WiFi for Shopping
Be careful when shopping online via public networks like cafes, airports, hotels etc. Enter payment info only using protected home/office WiFi or secure cellular data to prevent potential snooping. Consider using a trusted VPN service to encrypt connection too.
Beware Phishing Scams
Don’t click suspicious shopping deal links sent unexpectedly via email, SMS, WhatsApp etc. These often route to fake lookalike sites stealing entry credentials or payment data. Always type reputable sites directly into your browser for access. Check for “HTTPS” indicating site security.
Review Statements & Notifications Closely
Carefully review notifications for every online purchase, plus credit card and bank statements routinely to watch for unauthorized charges. Report concerns immediately to freeze payments before scammers steal too much.
Use Prepaid Cards
Consider using prepaid cards or virtual disposable card numbers tied to a main credit card when shopping on newer sites. These limit wide access and damage from potential payment theft. Most banks now offer these services via mobile apps.
Install Anti-Virus Protections
Make sure to use a robust antivirus software like Norton, McAfee or BitDefender for 24×7 monitoring against malware on all devices used to access online shopping accounts. Cyberattacks try to steal login credentials by infecting shopper devices.
Never Save Card Info
Entering card details each purchase creates extra friction, but greatly minimizes risk in case of merchant data breaches. Avoid storing payment info in online profiles whenever possible. Or utilize digital token vaults from banks providing one-click checkout while protecting card numbers.
Check Site Security
Before creating new ecommerce accounts, double check site security by looking for “HTTPS” browser indicators plus “padlock” icons. Only enter info at sites using data encryption to guard customer privacy on logins, browsing, payments etc.
Shield OTPs & Passwords
Whether shopping on apps or sites via mobile/laptop in public places, take care to shield OTPs and passwords from nearby shoulder surfers. Turn away or cover keypads to avoid criminals or cameras stealing access credentials.
Create Online Order Accounts
Register dedicated accounts for all frequent online delivery services providing names/addresses/numbers. Avoid sharing these details afresh which could expose data for misuse. Track orders via account dashboards rather than directly via phone for clarity.
Limit Public WiFi Banking
Refrain from banking and finance app access via public hotspots, especially sensitive actions like adding payees, card tokenization, payments etc. Restrict them to protected home WiFi networks to avoid remote hacking risks.
Check Statements & Notifications Closely
We recommend Indians review every online purchase plus bank/card statements closely for unauthorized activity. Report discrepancies like unknown overseas transactions, cash withdrawals or balance transfers immediately via 24×7 hotlines before major damage.
Maintain Cyber Hygiene Across Devices
Essential steps like device encryption, frequent anti-virus scans, prompt software updates and limited installation of third-party apps enhance security posture against ecommerce frauds trying to steal finance data via mobile or laptops compromised by malware.
We hope these tips empower Indians embrace online shopping safely. Take complaints regarding fraudulent sellers, deliveries or payments extremely seriously and escalate them to cybercrime authorities. Remaining vigilant customers shall eventually compel ecommerce platforms to strengthen protective measures around transparency, identity authentication, payments and fulfillment even further.