Shopping on smartphones is no longer a stranger to us. Especially with COVID-19 restrictions, as people stay away from social gatherings, online shopping seems to be the most viable solution. Gone are the days when you had to visit shops to pick up your favorite items, now you can order everything online and get them delivered to your doorstep. There are dedicated retailer apps, and you can also use e-commerce apps where everything is available in one place.

How Safe Are You While Shopping On Your Smartphone?

Even though it is a very convenient option, is it really safe? What online fraud prevention solutions can you adopt?

Let’s find out.

What are the risks associated with shopping on your phone?

Shopping online through any device carries a certain amount of risks, whether it is your smartphone or computer. The main concern here is that you would need to input your payment information and personal details while shopping online, which has the potential of getting hacked. There are many ways in which shopping online can put you at risk, like:

  • If you are using public Wi-Fi, you are most likely exposing your data to hackers.
  • Viruses, ransomware, and malware can affect your phone anytime. Refrain from clicking any suspicious link or downloading a malicious app.
  • Avoid phishing emails that lure you to share your personal details. That kind of private information can directly go to the fraudsters.
  • If your phone gets stolen, there is a risk of an information breach.
  • Data breaches have affected some of the biggest companies. If the app or shopping site you are using undergoes a data breach, your personal vital information will be leaked.

How can you stay safe?

Keeping your financial and personal information safe should be your priority. Even though you cannot control everything, there are certain things that you should keep an eye on while shopping from your phone.

  • Start by protecting your phone. You should always use a fingerprint lock or a strong passcode to protect your phone. Ensure to update your software and keep a close eye on the antivirus software. Always make sure to download trusted apps and also consider getting cell phone identity protection.
  • Next, connect your phone to a reliable network. Never use a public Wi-Fi network and consider using a VPN. Only shop on sites that are known and trustworthy. You might find unbelievable deals on certain malicious websites, never click on them as most of them are fake and only there to steal your data. Use a unique and strong passcode for each website. You can use a passcode locker to store them.
  • And finally, always keep your information private. Do not store your information everywhere, and use a digital locker for safety. You can also use payment platforms like PayPal. Set up two-step authentication for all your accounts and always be selective with the apps that you install on your phone.

What to do if you suspect data compromise?

Even after taking all the measures and being careful, there are chances that your account might get compromised. You should check your credit reports daily to see if there are any inquiries that you do not recognize. Credit monitoring would alert you about any new account that has been opened in your name. Also, monitor your debit and credit accounts to find any charges about transactions that you have never made. Consider doing the following things if you suspect that your data has been compromised:

  • Contact the card company for reporting the issues immediately.
  • File a fraud alert asking creditors to verify your identity before issuing any credit on your name.
  • Consider opting for a credit freeze preventing any new credits from being opened in your name.
  • Do not stop monitoring your accounts.

Final Thoughts

You would not have to let your mobile shopping habits go because of these associated risks, but it is a wise decision to always be careful. Even though the companies take up a lot of measures to protect your data, you should consider securing your smartphone data seriously. Always be mindful about where and how you are shopping. Keep your data protected with a strong passcode and never let that laid-back attitude affect you when it’s about securing your personal information.

iLounge author Lucy Bennett

Lucy Bennett is a Contributing Editor at iLounge. She has been writing about Apple and technology for over six years. Prior to joining iLounge, Lucy worked as a writer for several online publications.