Most of the smart spending tips that you will read online are focused on how to make a purchase. But have you ever tried questioning “where” it is best to buy what you need? There are so many places to buy the stuff that we need every day. Obviously, we make our selection as to where we want to buy based on convenience and value for money.
Online shopping is one of our options to buy products today. Thanks to the Internet, we can now buy things even from across the globe without leaving the confines of our home. If this is not convenient, then what is?
In fact, shopping via the Internet is evolving every day. Now, we can even shop through popular social media sites that we visit several times a day. A site called MediaBistro.com published an infographic from Market Me Suite that reveals some interesting statistics about social media shopping. According to the study:
70% of active social media users shop through this platform.
30% of shoppers are encouraged to act on a brand offer when it is reposted by a friend or contact.
81% of online shoppers are influenced by their social media friends.
50% of purchases happen a week after the social media user liked or favorited a product online.
Social media is becoming a popular online shopping site simply because of the exchange of opinions happening 24/7. Retailers have noticed this and are investing to be seen on these sites. You can expect that this type of shopping option will only become popular as time goes on.
Millions of consumers purchase online through social networks
According to a separate study done by JavelinStrategy.com, 62 million users are doing their online shopping through social networking sites. In a recent study released on January 23, the research company revealed that these social media sites have become the “additional arm of payments and retail.” It has gone beyond being an online venue to hang out and exchange ideas. People can now buy items through this platform.
The study mentioned that among Millennials, 27% are very likely (13%) or likely (14%) to buy through social networking sites. It also seems like men are more inclined to make purchases here. 23% of men will transact through these sites compared to 14% of women who do the same. Finally, out of all the social network users, 18% are at least likely to shop through their social media accounts.
As you can see, the studies support the fact that online shopping through social media sites is growing in popularity. It is expected to increase as time goes on. As retailers compete for clients, more and more people will be enticed to buy here than elsewhere.
How to secure your social media account for shopping online
While it is an option to shop this way, you also have to consider the fact that online shopping, although it is very convenient, can be quite dangerous. You need to be very careful about where you input your information because social media sites can be hacked and your data along with it.
In fact, an article from WashingtonTimes.com revealed that in December 2013, 2 million passwords from Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Twitter had been hacked – among others. It is implied that the hackers may have gotten more than that. Apparently, a computer virus may have been used to copy the passwords while users are typing them in.
Given this, you know that it is always important to make sure that you protect your information from hackers who plan to steal from you. If you are decided to use social media sites, then you need to pay attention to these tips to help you protect your account.
Make sure your passwords are complicated. Use letters, characters, and numbers in your password to increase its strength. Try not to use the common passwords of 1234, 4321 or something similar.
Use different passwords for various accounts. Most of us have accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. You will be a very easy target if you only have one password for all of these. Try to change them – even if it is just the numbers to diversify it. That way, if one account is hacked, the others will be safe.
Do not save your login information on your laptop. Unless you are the only one using the desktop, laptop or mobile device, never save your login information. It may be easy for you to login the next time but it will be easy for hackers to access it too.
Setup the password protect feature of your mobile device. Your mobile device can be easily stolen so set up a password or PIN that will be requested before it can be used.
Use the two-factor authentication. This will prompt the website you are visiting to identify the IP address of the person trying to access your account.
Although it is very convenient to do your online shopping on social networking sites, make sure that you will protect your identity at all cost. It is very easy to steal from you if the hackers have the right information about you.
Tips for when you are shopping in online sites
Regardless of where you plan to shop, whether it is in eCommerce sites or social networks, make sure that you will make the transaction secure. A lot of people during the Holidays relied on online shopping to get them through the usual dilemma of last-minute buyers.
Here are some additional tips that will keep you safe from having your information stolen as you complete your online purchases.
Be wary of too good to be true websites. If they seem to be too good to be true in terms of the discounts and products they offer, that must be true. When in doubt, conduct a background check on the site before you make a purchase.
Shop only in sites that use HTTPS. This means the site has an extra layer of protection from hackers. Opt to shop from these sites only.
Do not be too quick to click on links from your email. Sometimes, even if you know the person who sent it to you, be careful of clicking on links. Someone might have access to their site to send you the email. There are cases wherein these are disguised to be reliable links but they will take you to another site that can access your information or plant a virus in your computer or device.
Update your antivirus software. In case you get into a site that plants a virus in your computer, your antivirus will keep them from getting anything from you.
Be very careful about sites that are asking for your Social Security number. Most online shopping sites will not ask this from you. So if the site you are buying from requests this information, you know that there is something fishy with them.
Know your rights. Lastly, you have to know what the law says about eCommerce transactions. You need to know your rights and how it is regulated. That way, you can easily identify the legal sites from the not.
There are other tips that you need to look into when you are intent on shopping online. As long as you know that you need to protect yourself most of all, you can enjoy the convenience of purchasing what you need without going out of the house.