How do you know if online shopping is secure?
Read these safety tips
When browsing a web page, it’s normal to sense that little feeling of insecurity when buying. This is because, unfortunately, there are web intruders, just remember that there are also security measures. In this article, you will find tips that you can use when buying travel experiences online.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SAFETY WHEN BUYING ONLINE
4 TIPS TO STAY SAFE WHILE BROWSING THE INTERNET
1.- UPDATED AND PROTECTED DEVICE
Your device software must be up to date. With this, you can correct any vulnerability in the network that could affect your privacy. It is also advisable to have antivirus programs installed. Choose one that seems best to you to avoid types of malware capable of collecting your personal and banking information.
2.- USE SECURE NETWORKS
When you decide to buy travel experiences online, it’s important to do it from a reliable WiFi network, for example, your home. It could be the case that someone intercepts your personal and banking data through the communications that you’re sending to the web.
It’s not recommended to buy online from a public WiFi network, for example:
- Public parks
- Coffee shops
- Department stores
- Means of transport
3.- SHIELD YOUR PASSWORDS
- Don’t use just one password for all your accounts or share them online.
- When creating your password, use combinations of numbers, uppercase, lowercase, and characters.
- If you have trouble remembering your passwords, use a password management application, where you can store and remember them. Some options are Dashlane, Keeper, LastPass, to mention a few. Choose the one you prefer, taking into account that it must be a reputable manager and that it offers you options such as password generation and multi-device synchronization.
- Additionally, it’s recommended that you don’t store your passwords in your browser.
4.- VIRTUAL KEYBOARDS
Virtual keyboards are a type of software that simulates a traditional keyboard, the pointer works with the help of your desktop mouse. It’s most often used in online banking because of a malware called a keylogger. This can easily decrypt your data using the keys you press, sending the texts to “black hat hackers” or “cyber-criminals” as we better know them.
One way to avoid web intruders is with virtual keyboards, this way the malware won’t be able to decipher what you are typing. Browser extensions are also useful against this type of virus.
PHISHING SECURITY MEASURES
- Most of the time, the ads that are sent to you by email are not authentic. Distrust them and investigate directly on the official website so that you can be sure of their veracity.
- Only provide necessary personal information, don’t give too much data.
- Prices that seem too low are generally not true, sometimes they just use them to attract your attention.
- Poor quality images are a sign of a fraudulent page or a pirated advertisement. Be careful.
- Before concluding your purchase, the company must inform you of all the information regarding your transaction, such as the total price to pay, the date and time you selected, and others.
- Pay attention to the sender’s address.
- Take precautions in operations from your mobile phone. Most of the movements online are done employing mobiles and the web criminals know this. In this way, they focus on taking advantage of the smaller screens and with fewer security measures that users take.
- Review your bills and bank movements periodically.
- It is unusual for company websites to ask for confidential information via email.
HACKER SECURITY MEASURES
- If you want to shop online on a public network, it is recommended to use a network VPN.
- Don’t log in as the default administrator.
- Use two-factor authentication whenever you can.
- Block your online presence, for example, by putting your Facebook account in private mode and blocking your settings on Instagram.
- Read carefully the permission requests of the applications or web pages, (such as WhatsApp) take your time to do it.
- Review anti-phishing techniques.
PADLOCK ON THE ADDRESS BAR: WHAT IS IT?
For a website to be considered “safe”, the first thing is that it must start with “HTTPS: //”, this means that it follows the hypertext transfer protocol. Another feature is shown when the browser has the icon of a closed padlock, although these are not the only means of knowing the authenticity of the website.
Not necessarily the web page addresses must start with this encryption, but it must be located somewhere on the page. Take this into account when entering contact or bank information such as your card number.
Web page security certificates allow you to encrypt the data between your computer and the server that represents the page. They are confidence and security measures aimed at the user when making online shopping transactions.
This must coincide with the site where you are browsing, for example, click “Xcaret Promotions” and it should appear: https://www.xcaret.com/en/promotions/.
HOW TO CHECK THE DIGITAL CERTIFICATE OF A WEB PAGE?
The following example will serve as a guide on how to avoid falling into fraudulent pages when you want to buy trips online.
For a user to feel calm and confident when shopping travel experiences online, it’s necessary to ensure that they are protected by encryption. Every authentic website must have a trust seal in the form of a digital certificate. We click on the padlock to see the certificate holder.
The certificate is for “Xcarett.com”, which is not “Xcaret”, we are on a pirated Xcaret page. This trick is used to fool the user with names that are spelled similarly or that, when reading, are pronounced the same, but if we look closely, they have a great difference in spelling and diction.
Now “Xcaret” is shown, which is the page we are looking for and where we want to be: it is legitimate.
THESE ARE THE 6 THINGS THAT THE WEB PAGE MUST INFORM YOU
1.- GENERAL INFORMATION OF THE COMPANY
Normally, you can find company information at the bottom of the website, such as “Legal notice”. Although it may vary depending on the page and/or online store. Nevertheless, regardless of the section where it is located, the entire page must show a company name, physical address, and provide information to be able to contact them.
2.- PERSONAL DATA THEY COLLECT AND HOW THEY USE IT
I show you an example:
3.- ARCO RIGHTS, HOW CAN WE APPLY THEM?
Identify them as “Rights of access, rectification, cancellation, and objection (ARCO rights)”. The company provides you with information on how to carry out your ARCO’s, regarding our personal data under the provisions of the Organic Law on Data Protection (LOPD).
For example ARCO RIGHTS
Regardless of ARCO rights, the company must show you policies and laws that are incorporated in their Privacy Notices on websites, for example in Xcaret, it is based on:
- The LFPDPPP, Regulation of the Federal Law on Protection of Personal Data Held by Private Parties, is the law that is responsible for protecting personal data in Mexico.
- The GDPR, General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 27, 2016, regarding the protection of natural persons), which is the new European Union regulations for the regulation of the processing of personal data.
4.- CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES
The company will inform you of its clear and concise cancellation and/or refund policies when making your purchase.
Look at the following example: Xcaret Park FAQs
5.- TRUST SEALS
The Trust Seals in a web page complies that you are navigating with the security requirements established by the organizations that accredited them, as long as they are legitimate.
The organizations that distribute the stamps have a search engine that allows them to determine if the page has the stamp or not. Some pages may have it, but not officially.
6.- ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT
The accepted forms of payment are different according to the company. When you make your purchase, your payment options must be clear and specifically shown to you, to avoid confusion.
WHAT TYPE OF ONLINE PAYMENT SUITS MY NEEDS?
1.- PAYMENT WITH CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD
One of the most common options offered by web pages: credit or debit cards.
To carry out this process, the online store must establish a secure payment platform with a bank or similar entity. It’s the equivalent of a dataphone or Point-of-Sale terminal (POS). This allows the site to verify the customer’s bank card through the web.
This security is based on SSL security protocols that authenticate, encrypt and decrypt the data sent over the Internet to browsers and web servers.
Here, the banks oversee verifying the authentication of the card and the protection of customer data. Cards such as VISA (Verified by Visa) and Mastercard (MasterCard SecureCode), are viable for this type of transaction.
2.- PAYMENT SERVICE WITH WALLETS
You can manage your money virtually from your Smartphone or computer, this also allows you to facilitate payment processes in a fast and secure way. Depending on the payment you are going to make, you can select the most appropriate option for you.
Electronic wallets usually work when the user links a bank account or the cards that they have active to Wallets.
Using this means of payment also allows you to receive payments through cards such as MasterCard or Visa as long as you have a merchant account.
Are considered wallets:
- Apple Pay
3.- PAYMENT IN CASH, OXXO OR 7-ELEVEN (ONLY APPLIES FOR MEXICO)
Some companies also provide you the option of making cash payments through deposits in convenience stores like Oxxo and 7-Eleven. Something that you should take into consideration when doing this is that there are fraudulent websites that ask victims to make the payment using this type of deposit.
Important: If you’re going to choose this form of payment, make sure that the service you are going to pay has an agreement with these companies. The easiest way to verify this is by checking that you have a payment reference with the name of a company or business name. All companies that accept cash deposits must have it, never deposit to a bank account without this information.
3 Online shopping general tips
1.- IF YOU TRAVEL BY PLANE, IDENTIFY THE CHEAPEST DAYS TO FLY
The airline can detect what day you will travel next and may increase its prices, so avoid setting your safe travel date. Set a tentative date for the real one. Traveling during the week is usually cheaper than traveling on weekends. Display the calendar shown on the page, in the month you want to travel and check which days are the cheapest.
2.- DELETE COOKIES AND CHANGE NETWORK AT THE TIME OF BUY
If you have been looking for prices or airlines to travel and even places to stay, it may happen that the prices are increasing because sometimes it monitors your navigation and they know through this that you want to travel or visit them. If you have noticed, I suggest you delete cookies, browsing history, and if it is possible to change the network.
3.- BUY WITH TIME
Consider a minimum period of a month and a half or two months before your trip. In some cases, the closer the date, the more expensive the services are, especially on special dates and the holiday season.
SIMULATION OF STEPS TO FOLLOW TO BUY TRAVEL EXPERIENCES ONLINE
1.- In the search engine, write where you’re traveling. Since you have found the website, you must make sure that it is the “official page”, otherwise you suspect its veracity.
2.- On most web pages, whether you are visiting from your computer, mobile device, tablet, or others; They will offer you the options to choose a package, the one that is most to your liking. Descriptions of what applies and what does not will appear in the price.
3.- Once you have decided on the package of your choice, the date on which you will travel, the schedules, and the prices have been extremely clear to you, proceed to click on the button “add”, “buy”, etc.
4.- To corroborate, you will be shown on your screen the price, destination, package, to name a few; this so you are sure what you chose. Once you have rectified everything is fine. You click on “continue”, “accept”, etc.
Now comes the most important thing.
5.- Enter your data to make your buy and make your entire process official. This point, if it has not yet been clear to you, I suggest that you reread “Data personal that it collects and how it is used”. Read as many times as necessary until you feel safe.
Most of the time they ask for information such as name, surname, email, address, telephone number, city, postal code, country, state, and extras such as how you found out about the company or if you want to comment on something before making your buy.
6.- Once you have entered your data, click on the follow or accept button, as it appears on the page.
7.- After you choose the way you want to pay, if you want by credit card, debit card, wallets, etc. This also depends on the options that the site you are visiting has. Not all vacation spots have the same payment options.
8.- Finally, mostly, they send you by mail the invoice that validates your buy along with the information you provided. This will be presented at the box office at your place of adventure. After this, each site has its different ways of operating and verifying your buy. But do not worry, that happens to all of us, it is only to deliver everything you asked for in your buy package.
Technology is neither good nor bad, it gets us out of trouble most of the time, but it can also harm us if we don’t use it properly; use it to your benefit, protecting your safety as an Internet user, without harming third parties.
Considering the previous tips, buying travel online is way easier. Leave me in the comments if you feel ready to buy.
Preserver of sustainability and faithful admirer of nature.
Loves traveling and learning about new cultures.
Writing is how you connect with the world.