Speak to anyone that isn’t tech-literate about buying something online and if they express concerns over having their information stolen, then they’re either paranoid or running on outdated information. Modern computing solutions such as the latest Windows updates and Apple computers have mostly patched out vulnerabilities.
As long as you have some basic computing knowledge (not hard thanks to all of the online resources available), some common sense and stay somewhat up to date with the latest tech news, you’re generally quite safe.
Online fraud has always been an issue; nobody wants to have their credit card details stolen and no one wants to go through the process of contacting their bank to try and freeze payments because you’re somehow losing money every week. However, it’s not as big of an issue as people make it out to be and millions of people across the globe regularly make online purchases without any issue, so is it something that we should still be concerned about?
You should be more concerned about social engineering than system vulnerabilities
In the past, it was actually fairly common to experience all kinds of exploits that could steal information from our computers and even record keystrokes so that hackers could compromise our systems. This leads to many people being scared of purchasing on the internet in fear that their information could be stolen, but that was decades ago and modern computing has created plenty of defences against it.
What you should be worried about now is actually social engineering, not exploits. This is essentially a strategy that aims to trick people into believing that they’re speaking to or interacting with legitimate people when in reality they’re being tricked. This includes phone scams where people pose as tech support or even phishing websites that mimic real services.
Of course, there are usually going to be a few slip-ups now and then such as the recent Internet Explorer zero-day vulnerability, but this is usually due to poor programming and planning by software companies that are trying to one-up the opposition and provide features that users don’t actually request. In other words, as long as you don’t auto-update your computer all the time, you’re generally fine in terms of system vulnerabilities.
Luckily, companies are doing everything they can to prevent fraud on the internet
More and more services and companies are popping up in an attempt to put an end to internet fraud. For example, many websites and businesses can use Netverify to ensure KYC compliance. This essentially means identity checking so that companies can ensure that they’re speaking to and working with real customers and not fakes have stolen someone’s identity.
Security measures are also improving with many people utilizing two-factor authentication so that even if their passwords are compromised by a fraudster, they won’t actually be able to access their account without bypassing another layer of security that is typically physical, such as on the user’s phone or a separate device.
In short, you shouldn’t be worried about online fraud assuming you avoid shady websites and use common sense whenever you make purchases online. If something is too good to be true, you should probably avoid it.