Online shopping is convenient and fun. You can find anything, anytime, and get it to your own front door faster than ever. Two billion people hopped online to shop in 2020 alone. But for all of its convenience, it’s way too easy to overpay, blow your budget and fall prey to online scams. Learn the best way to hunt down deals, stay on top of your budget and keep yourself safe online every time.
Find Good Deals
You already have favorite brands. When you shop for those brands online, save even more money by making the company’s website your first stop. Sign up for e-mail newsletters or give your consent to receive brand messages via text for special “members only” deals, exclusive coupon codes and limited-time offer reminders.
For everything else, use price-watching browser extensions like PopCart, Amazon Assistant or Honey. After signing up, you’ll receive instant alerts whenever your favorite stores offer a lower price or a sale from right within your browser. They do the price comparison shopping for you. While you’re browsing online, you’ll always know if you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Watch Your Budget
Online shops are great at reeling you in. Spend more money and you might save on shipping or receive an extra discount. But those extra dollars add up. All that money you are saving is costing you more in the long run, especially when you’re continually splurging on things you don’t need.
Keep your budget on track and shop with a purpose. Don’t browse your favorite online storefronts for something to do or to blow off steam. Chances are you’ll also blow your budget. Keep a list of the things you actually need, so when you are online, you aren’t impulse-buying five new tops and a larger TV because they were on sale. This way, you’ll always know what you should be buying, to better help you meet your budget goals.
Maintain Your Computer
In 2020, internet crimes caused more than $4.2 billion in financial loss. The last thing you need is to let your critical information fall into the wrong hands. Keep yourself safe right from the start by using a clean computer. Having the right software protection can keep your private information out of the hands of hackers. Begin with firewall protection to add a barrier of protection between your online habits and a cyberattack. Don’t stop there. Install, activate and continuously update good anti-virus protection and anti-spyware software to prevent malicious attacks. Run scans on a regular basis to catch — and prevent — issues fast.
Some online ads prove tempting and irresistible to click. They can also be phishing schemes to get information out of you. Use an ad-blocker, so you won’t end up accidentally sharing your personal information with a scam company. Spring for an ID theft protection package as a form of insurance for covering any legal fees and damages that occur as a result of ID theft. If the worst does happen, having the services of identity theft protection in place beforehand, like this Lifelock promo, can help the recovery process run a bit more smoothly.
Play It Safe
Save big money the next time you shop online by signing up for store discount alerts from your favorite brands and make it simple to stick to your budget by keeping a list of your “must-haves” to curb your impulse spending. Just don’t forget to invest in the right software protection tools so you can shop ‘til you drop as safely as possible.