Valentine’s Day 2021: Safe shopping guide
Valentine’s Day brings out a softer side in all of us, so we want to surprise our partners with the best gift there can be. Let’s be real, shopping for a gift for your significant other can be a little hard sometimes. Especially, if you want to surprise them, but it’s impossible to do if you’re using the same devices. That’s when you want your Google searches to be private. Also, don’t forget the fact that online scammers are more active on holidays, so here are a few tips to safeguarding yourself when choosing the right gift for your partner! You can also read our guide about secure banking here.
Why gift shopping should be anonymous?
The products or services you’ve looked up will appear everywhere you turn — Facebook ads, Google ads and more. It’s not that difficult to figure out you’ve searched for a ring if your Facebook feed is stuffed with ring ads, promoted posts from various jewelry stores and etc. That’s the purpose of remarketing, so be careful when googling something – those products will hunt you for quite some time.
There’s a good chance that you and your partner use the same computer, not even talking about shared Wi-Fi. Just as I said before – Google remembers stuff. Once you searched for something, either it’s a gift name or a place, your typed words are out in the open from now on. It can show up as an autosuggestion once your significant other starts typing something similar.
Information can get stolen
On holidays, cybercriminals become more active as they know that people shop more then. There are all kinds of scammy websites that just want to rip you off and it’s very easy to do so when there’s an occasion such as Valentine’s Day. If you’re not careful, you’ll not only be left without your ordered gift but without your credit card credentials too. So if the site looks suspicious to you, maybe better just skip it.
How to be safe while shopping online?
There are some privacy extensions that not only block various trackers and cookies but protect you from scammy websites as well. My recommendations:
- uBlock Origin (reliable ad blocker)
- Privacy Badger (browser extension for blocking trackers and cookies)
- HTTPS everywhere (encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure)
Incognito mode doesn’t secure your online connections, but it will allow you to browse without saving your search history. Why not just use this? Well, it’s been proven numerous times that browsers still retain some data.
Some websites can have hidden autofill fields that can get more than your password or security number. So don’t save your text! While it might take some time to type it in, it’s better to do it yourself.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) service
If you decided to avoid shared Wi-Fi and go to a coffee shop or something like that, unfortunately, I have to disappoint you. Public WiFi can pose even more dangers — you can get easily hacked or lose your data when connected to unsecured wireless network. That’s what a VPN is for, it encrypts your online traffic and secures all your personal information.
If online privacy is something that concerns you in general – a VPN is definitely the software you need. It’s very easy to use and you don’t have to be tech-savvy to install it. VPN services usually support multiple devices and are available on all platforms, so you can browse for gifts via desktop in a coffee shop, or when traveling via commute on your mobile phone. Just remember to use a reputable VPN provider. Here are some great choices:
- NordVPN (3-year plan for only $3.49/month, 70% discount)
- Surfshark (2-year plan for $1.99/month, 83% discount)
- ExpressVPN (1-year plan for $8.32/month, 35% discount)
That’s it! Be sure to follow these steps and you’ll be anonymous when shopping for Valentine’s gifts for sure. Always take care of your online privacy, not only on this occasion. Security online is important, as cyber crimes are increasing at an alarming rate. Anyway, now you’re all set up for buying the best gift for your significant other and keeping it as a surprise for as long as you need!
Valentine’s Day brings out a softer side in all of us, so we want to surprise our partners with the best gift there can be. Let’s be real, shopping for a gift for your significant other can be a little hard sometimes.