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Online shopping can be a safe and convenient way to get everything you need delivered right to your doorstep. However, if you don’t know how to keep yourself and your data protected online, it can put you at risk for a host of other threats including personal data leaks and cybersecurity threats. Here are the latest tips and tricks to help you become the smartest online shopper you know in 2021.

Ignore Messages, Emails, and Notifications from Unknown or Untrustworthy Sources

When you sign up for a shopping site, you might start receiving emails, messages, or notifications from third-party sites that contain enticing offers. If you don’t recognize the source, don’t follow the message. Sometimes online shopping sites leak your information to third parties who use it to “phish” for innocent people who will fall victim to their scams. If you’re not sure about a source, Google the business or company name to see if it’s authentic.

Employ a Trustworthy Antivirus Program and Keep it Updated

Before you enter any personal information on a shopping site, make sure that you have a trusted antivirus program installed on your computer to keep it safe from viruses and hackers. Keeping your antivirus program updated will also help keep your cache secure and protect your personal data from being leaked online.

Use a VPN When You Shop

For greater security online, and especially when shopping online you should make sure you are connected to a VPN. VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network, and by using a VPN app for security, you are able to mask your IP address and ensure that all the data you send or receive through your system is encrypted. This way you are guaranteed that your payment details and personal data will not be seen or stolen.

Save Money by Seeking the Best Offers

While it’s simple to find pretty much anything you want online, you shouldn’t jump at the first offer you see. Use price comparison apps to see whether the product you’re purchasing is available for less on another site. You can also search for coupons and discounts that may be hidden to ensure that you’re saving all the money you can while you shop. Many sites have offers going on that they may not display in an obvious manner. Hunt around the site itself or use Google to seek them out.

Look for Verified Reviews

Reading reviews is a good way to ensure that the product you’re looking at is authentic and of good quality. However, many sites use bots and paid reviews which can be misleading. If you see a product that has a lot of high ratings but no written reviews, be wary of it as the ratings can easily be entered by bots. When reading reviews, look for ones that are written by verified buyers to ensure their authenticity.

Follow the tips above to keep your personal data protected, ensure you’re buying authentic products, and save money while you’re at it. Now that’s smart online shopping!