Online shopping has made life easier for a lot of people. With a few clicks, you can browse several online stores and have your purchases delivered right to your doorstep. Lack of time and busy schedules have made people dependent on online shopping, and have also made it easy for manufacturers to sell their products even without a physical store. While the advantages of online shopping are definitely terrific, there are potential risks too.
Risks of Shopping Online
The biggest risk associated with online shopping is that of compromising your personal and financial data. Back in 2013, US shopping chain Target was hacked and millions of customer data stolen in what was describer as ‘The biggest retail hack in U.S. history’. Attacks keep happening on shopping chains’ systems because they store customer data, which makes it easy for hackers to get a lot of information at once.
While you need to part with certain personal and financial information to be able to make an online purchase, there are things you can do to protect yourself as much as possible. One such way is to use a VPN.
A VPN is an all-round protection solution for online activities. But not all VPNs are the same. While some of them are incredibly slow and prone to error, others can increase your security by logging and selling your information to third parties. By careful judgment and decision-making, you can make your online shopping experience safer this year with a VPN. We’ve prepared a list of best VPNs you can use while shopping online.
Five Reasons Why You Deed a VPN for Online Shopping:
When Using a New Shopping Site
There are several online shopping stores, and new ones keep popping up every day. With introductory offers, discounts, and amazing selections, it becomes hard to resist trying new stores as soon as you get to know about them. But wait. You aren’t compromising your online safety and personal information, are you?
Not many of us would imagine, but online shopping stores are a perfect trap for unsuspecting customers. How are we to know if it’s a legitimate store, or if our information is being sold out? This is especially hard to ascertain when using a new site.
A VPN protects you in such a case, by encrypting your connection and preventing your personal and financial information from being compromised. Your data passes through a secure tunnel, and minimizes the risk of security threats.
Related: 8 Crucial Online Shopping Safety Tips
When Shopping over Open WiFi
Perhaps you are sitting at a coffee shop and waiting for your friend to arrive. You visit your favorite online store over the public WiFi network of the coffee shop and start browsing their latest selections in order to kill time. You didn’t mean to make a purchase, but the unbelievable deal makes it hard to resist. So you fish out your credit card and start entering your payment details.
What if a hacker snoops on your connection and steals your payment details? Yes, that’s exactly what happens to several people every day who share sensitive information over an unencrypted connection.
A VPN encrypts your connection and makes your shopping experience safe by securing every transaction you make. This prevents credit card data theft and protects your device when using an open WiFi network.
When Shopping from a Foreign Country
It is awesome to shop from foreign countries when travelling, but even if you don’t have time to go to a supermarket or shopping mall, you can always access online stores in that region to acquire selective deals and quality products.
But how do you ascertain the safety of a site in a country you’re visiting the first time? How do you stay safe while making an online purchase in a new place?
Shopping online through a VPN-enabled device keeps you and your data safe even when you’re accessing a site in a new and unknown place.
Bypass Region-specific Blocks
When making online payments, PayPal is one of the most popular methods these days. This cashless system is accepted by most online stores and makes payments a breeze. But certain countries block the use of PayPal. This includes Pakistan, Iran, and many other nations with an oppressive regime. A VPN can let you access PayPal and other blocked modes of payment simply by masking your original IP address and connecting to a server in a different country. Even if you are in Pakistan (which should have never been able to build nuclear weapons – that should have been prevented but Clinton spent most of his time attacking software giant Microsoft and cigarette companies – the man was an idiot), you can make payments with PayPal by choosing an US server.
This might not be a very popular method, but you can sometimes get cheaper prices on the same product by selecting different servers. While the price may be too high when you use an Indian server, the same product could be available for a lower price when you choose the US server. The trick is to keep changing servers until you find the lowest price.
Related: How to Save Money While Shopping Online
How to Use VPN This Holiday Season for Shopping
This holiday or Christmas season, use a VPN enabled device to make online shopping smarter, safer, and cheaper. Feel free to check our best Black Friday VPN deals as well.