Today, I am delighted to introduce Jack – a cybersecurity expert.
Jack has savvy secret tips to save you money and to stay safe at the same time while you do your online shopping. By the end of this post, you’ll be a ninja at dodging cyber traps unwary online shoppers often fall prey to.
Ready? Over to you, Jack.
Over the last ten years, the amount of money spent by online shoppers has increased by more than $110 billion in America alone.
What has not changed is the desire for shoppers to save money every chance they get.
Advancements in technology have made it possible for people to find just about anything online.
This convenience makes people more inclined to shop online for whatever they need, from household furniture to foot stuff and even games, while having them delivered to their doorstep without leaving the comfort of their office or home.
Even with the many benefits associated with online shopping, it is not without demerits.
If you are not a smart shopper, you can fall victim to impulse spending because of the limitless display you find online.
This can lead to increased debt, which can affect your credit score. Apart from impulse spending, online shopping is also a getaway to online fraud.
Being a smart shopper is the only way to avoid the disadvantages of having everything at your fingertips.
Being a smart shopper can greatly enhance your online shopping experience while ensuring you save money or even make some.
Here are ideal tips and tricks you can follow in 2021 to become a smart shopper yourself.
Secure your personal information
When shopping online, the first line of defense against hacking and data loss is to avail as little information about yourself as possible.
Most retail sites ask for additional information for marketing purposes.
If they ask for too much irrelevant information like your social security details or bank info, this should be a red flag.
The most they need should be your email address and location details.
Use Ibotta and Rakuten to get discounts and cashback earning
Ibotta is a cashback application that rewards shoppers for buying through the app from more than 300 retailers.
It offers a wide range of products, including home goods, clothing, groceries, and travel, plus more.
You can enjoy cashback from 10% for grocery shopping to 15% when you purchase using a gift card. Ibotta gives you a convenient way to shop while making money.
More than 2500 online stores collaborate with Rakuten to offer value for service to their customers through cashback discounts.
You can enjoy various discounts when you shop through Rakuten from different online retailers ranging from bookstores to hotels offering better rates through this website.
To earn cashback discounts on Rakuten, you will first need to create an account before you can navigate to stores.
Once you are done shopping, the cashback is automatically added to your Rakuten account.
Once you hit a $5 cashback amount, you can choose to withdraw using PayPal or check.
Outsmart dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing is a marketing tactic where retailers adjust the pricing on products to meet market supply and demand.
Some of the factors used to determine dynamic pricing include user browser history, location, and spending patterns.
This is why sometimes the price you come across today will not be the same as you get next week for the same product.
To avoid paying more when you could pay less, you need to ensure you compare prices using tools like Google Shopping.
This will give you access to different retailers for the same product, allowing you to choose the lowest prices.
It also helps to clear your browser cookies and history before you start shopping to get the best pricing.
Also, consider signing into your shopping apps in incognito mode to block retainers from telling your location or browsing history.
This will prevent them from targeting you with dynamic pricing.
Encrypt your network
One of the best ways to be probative in guaranteeing your safety online is to encrypt your network. This can be done using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) whenever you shop online. A VPN is simple to use and highly secure, even when shopping from a public Wi-Fi network.
A VPN creates a safe tunnel where data is transferred from your device to different websites. The data moved on a VPN secured network cannot be read or seen by hackers or snooping tools.
Shopping with a VPN is also a fantastic way of avoiding dynamic pricing since it hides your actual location and IP address, allowing you to access products and services at normal rates.
Ensure you use secured checkouts
Reputable eCommerce websites use SSL technology for their checkout systems for guaranteed data encryption.
This is a technology that guarantees the safety of your data when you are shopping online.
You can tell whether a retailer uses SSL by checking for a padlock on the web address bar next to the site’s URL. In addition, safe website addresses always begin with HTTPS and not HTTP.
Using coupons and discount codes
Most online retailers give discounts through codes, coupons, and cashback.
However, it is the prerogative of the buyer to find these discount codes and coupons online.
Using coupon and discount code apps gives you access to available online deals to ensure you get the best rates.
The most common coupon and discount sites include RetailMeNot, Groupon, savings.com, and coupon.com.
These smart tips guarantee to make your online shopping experience even better in 2021 and beyond.
Jack is an accomplished cybersecurity expert with years of experience under his belt at TechWarn, a trusted digital agency to world-class cybersecurity companies.
A passionate digital safety advocate himself, Jack frequently contributes to tech blogs and digital media sharing expert insights on cybersecurity and privacy tools.