The Guilfordian

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Users be wary when shopping online

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Users be wary when shopping online

Natalie Whitmeyer Headshot

Natalie Whitmeyer Headshot

Natalie Whitmeyer Headshot

Natalie Whitmeyer Headshot

Imagine you’re on the way to a dinner with friends and decide to quickly check your bank account. To your surprise, there’s no money in sight. Panic starts to shoot through your body as if someone had shocked you with 50 volts of electricity. Do you feel faint all of a sudden?

You decide to do some investigating because it was only yesterday when you had plenty in your account. After further investigation, there’s discovery of Uber rides. And not only this, but Uber rides in San Francisco.

This has to be a case of credit card fraud. You don’t know what to do as you frantically call your mom for help and desperately ask her what to do in this situation, only realizing that a simple call to your bank was the only logical thing needed. You hang up, probably feeling like you should’ve known that solution all along, and call your friendly neighborhood bank.

This was my story not too long ago, and with this being my first experience with credit card fraud, I had no idea how to go about it. However, none of you lovely folks (hopefully) will be in the same situation I was. Or, if you ever are, you’ll know the proper way to go about it without wanting to pull out your hair and throw your phone all the way across campus.

I came to realize, after going over the long and strenuous process to get a new card, that this only came to be because of online shopping.

Doing more research, I found that hackers can actually create fake websites that may seem real to lure any reluctant shopper in.

Many people fall victim to these sites, and thus fall into the traps of hackers that will stop at nothing in order to get what they’re searching for.

These online data breaches have become a big problem in recent years, with people creating fake sites to mimic the reality of real shopping sites such as Target, Home Depot, PlayStation Network and so on.

Innocent bystanders thus create accounts on these sites, where they can save their credit card information, which these hackers have access to. This information eventually ends up in “carding shops,” where other people can go to buy stolen credit card numbers. This is one of the reasons why online shopping is so dangerous.

Along with online shopping, viruses are another main culprit that could be used by hackers to infiltrate the system. Users must be on the lookout for these fake sites they might encounter or ads that might pop up on popular social media outlets.  

Also, be wary of purchasing items online when in an altered state of mind, which we probably all have in the past (especially being on a college campus).

Online purchases can exceed budget as well, and many of these sites may be the same as giving your information to the culprit himself. Never trust anyone or anything unless there’s valid proof.

My dear readers, you must be aware and safe at all times. In all of our journeys in life, and as we are graduating from the “college-sphere” and venturing into the real world, we need to keep a sacred aspect in all transactions.

Giving out any information about ourselves is a risk factor that can only disable us in the end, which is why this is especially hard and needs to be kept in mind with the ever constant advances in technology.

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