Online Shopping

Online shopping has become a favorite avenue for people around the world. The convenience and simplicity of online shopping have ushered in a shift in consumer behavior. With all the distancing and movement restrictions, the pandemic made online shopping the only option for months. 

With a Harbor Freight coupon and free shipping code, you can get virtually anything you need without leaving home. Even with all the convenience, online shopping does pose some security threats. It is vital to learn about the threats to online shopping and find out how to avoid them.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the most common risks of online shopping. Cybercriminals have ways of hacking into private websites, where they steal users’ personal information and credit card details. 

The criminals use the details to make unauthorized purchases, going on to sell the personal information to others in some cases. This is a common problem when there is an online shopping surge, such as during holidays.  

Lack of Data Encryption

When you pass on your credit card details to a third party, you assume that your data is secure. Unfortunately, this is not always true when shopping online. Some websites do not encrypt data. 

They use outdated HTTP protocols and SSL certificates that make them susceptible to online attacks. It is vital to be careful when using a website. If the URL address begins with HTTP, it is insecure. A secured address should start with HTTPS. 

Adware Attacks

Adware describes the unsolicited ads that keep popping up on the screen when you are online. They are advertising software, and they generate revenue. Though they are not necessarily illegal, cybercriminals can use the adware. 

They use these to obtain personal information and credit card details. The ads lure consumers to malicious websites where they get their personal information. Some go as far as spreading malware.

Non-existent Online Stores 

Not all online stores are genuine. Some sites are set up with the sole purpose of stealing from unsuspecting buyers. Cybercriminals target people looking to buy items, intending to steal their personal information and their money. 

The criminals advertise products that they do not have; the moment you place the orders, they take the money and disappear. In most cases, they advertise products at very low prices. 

Avoiding Online Shopping Threats

You can protect yourself from online shopping threats. Acknowledging that cybercriminals exist is the first step. You must be cautious when shopping online. Be careful about your online interactions and find out how to secure your network. Update your operating system and your browser. 

Use powerful anti-malware or antivirus software to protect your personal information. When shopping online, use a credit card instead of a debit card. A credit card offers more protection in case something goes wrong. Installing a script blocker provides added security for your browser.


Be careful with the websites you shop on. Use websites that are secure to protect your data. Practice safe shopping and remember that cybercriminals often look for vulnerabilities to defraud shoppers.